NACS delays opening of new elementary school for a year

Aspen Meadow Elementary will open late. (Courtesy image)

The Northwest Allen County Schools’ latest elementary school will open a year late because a contractor has missed crucial deadlines.

Aspen Meadow, 2650 Hathaway Road, had been scheduled to open in August but now ill not open until fall 2021.

“We apologize for inconveniences caused by this delay which will include the continued use of portable classrooms,” Chris Himsel, superintendent, said in a statement. “However, we believe it is more important that Aspen Meadow be constructed to the specifications designed and communicated to all contractors interested in bidding the project in fall 2019. These specifications are based upon the design of Cedar Canyon and Eel River elementary schools. If these specifications are executed as designed, then Aspen Meadow should serve our community well by providing healthy and safe learning environments for children attending classes within it.”

Based on the information received by NACS from the general contractor, Aspen Meadow Elementary School will not be ready for occupancy by students for the upcoming school year.

In its most recent schedule, the general contractor acknowledged that the roof, gym, and certain classroom spaces, as well as the outdoor areas, will not be substantially completed prior to the start of the school year even under the best-case scenario. Accordingly, to ensure the health and safety of students and to ensure a positive experience for all Aspen Meadow families, NACS officials said they made the decision to delay the opening of the new school.

The updated elementary attendance areas that were approved by the Board Feb. 13, will not be implemented until August 2021. During the 2020-2021 school year, the current attendance areas will continue to guide the assignment of students to NACS elementary schools. For families whose children will be reassigned to a different elementary school in August 2021, transition activities will be created, and these transition activities will be implemented next spring, the spring of 2021.

As a result of delaying implementation of the updated elementary attendance areas, final discussions related to updating middle school attendance areas will be delayed until at least fall 2021. Implementation of updated middle school attendance areas will be delayed until at least August 2022.