Construction has been moving quickly in the Freeman School District, but poor weather will delay the move from portables to new classrooms this spring.
The Freeman Elementary School project will include a refurbished school and a new multipurpose building for the administrative offices and cafeteria for both the elementary and middle school students.
“We won’t be moving students out of the portables,” said Superintendent Sergio Hernandez.
It was expected the students would move into the new building in May, but the slow-draining clay soil has slowed construction, as well as deteriorating sewer lines which needed replacing.
There aren’t any sidewalks just yet in the area, either, which makes a muddy entrance for the students.
As of now, the students will finish the year in the portables and will start the next school year in the new building.
Construction on the high school’s gym was delayed last year after it was found the soil underneath the gym wouldn’t support the building.
Renovating the schools was funded by a $19.5 million construction bond passed by district voters in 2008. State matching funds provided an extra $10.5 million. Walker Construction is the general contractor and ALSC Architects provided the design.
Although the big move has been delayed, Hernandez said it is OK with the students and teachers. The daily routine for students won’t be interrupted.
Hernandez said soil problems are not uncommon in the area.
“Palouse clay is unique,” he said.