Willoughby-Eastlake High Schools delay opening until Sept. 3 due to unfinished construction and safety concerns

The two new schools were supposed to open August 15 but delayed because of construction woes

Willoughby-Eastlake High Schools delay opening until Sept. 3 due to unfinished construction and safety concerns
Willoughby-Eastlake High Schools delay opening until Sept. 3 due to unfinished construction and safety concerns

EASTLAKE, Ohio (WOIO) - Willoughby-Eastlake North and South High Schools were supposed to open today, Aug. 15.

As we previously reported, of the first day of school has been moved to Sept. 3.

19 News asked to see the inside of the school, but we were denied access.

Superintendent of Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools Steve Thompson says there are safety concerns.

Willoughby-Eastlake High Schools delay opening until Sept. 3 due to unfinished construction and safety concerns

“At this point, the inspectors are in the building. Right now trying to get us temporary occupancy so that we can get our teachers and administrators in here to begin setting up their classrooms and checking technology," said Thompson.

However, elementary and middle schools started despite the confusion.

The school district posted a letter to social media back in July, signed by David Stahl from the AECOM construction company, stating the two brand new high schools would be done on time.

Builder AECOM said it wasn’t its decision to delay the opening and that crews have been working overtime this last year to meet the deadline.

A spokesperson for the school district told 19 News that AECOM faces a penalty for not being done on time.

David Stahl, an Associate Vice-President told 19 News reporter, Sia Nyorkor, he could not talk about it and referred her to the company’s spokesman, Michael Chee. We did not hear back from Chee at the time of the broadcast.

In the meantime, Superintendent Thompson says, they're moving forward and doing the best they can to make the new September 3 deadline.

“Worst case scenario, it it’s not ready September 3, then what?" asked Nyorkor

“I mean if it’s not ready on September 3 and it’s not safe for students then we don’t go to school but again, I don’t anticipate that but obviously, the safety of our students trumps any other issue.”

A ribbon-cutting is planned for Saturday, September 14.

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