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Caribou Community School opening moved to Oct. 19

CARIBOU, Maine — The Caribou Community School is now scheduled to open for classes on Oct. 19 to accommodate for construction delays, according to RSU 39 (Caribou and Stockholm) Superintendent Tim Doak. 

The school was originally planned to open as early as August, but the RSU 39 Board of Education voted in August to move the first day to Oct. 13. 

In a video update posted by RSU 39, Doak said the administration has had to delay opening one more time to Oct. 19 in order to ensure the heating plant is in full operation, that all furniture is delivered and that staff are fully prepared and familiar with the new building’s layout.

“We will have 18 trailer trucks deliver furniture to Caribou between the week of [Sept.] 28th to Oct. 8,” Doak said. “Oct. 9 will be our last checklist on furniture and then, on Oct. 13, after our long weekend, we are going to allow four days for our teachers to move in and get acclimated to the building and to go through all of the COVID-19 safety procedures.”

Oct. 13-16 will be a four-day workshop, not only giving teachers the time they need to prepare but also giving kindergarten through eighth grade students a brief break before they begin physical classes in the building on Monday, Oct. 19.

Doak said they are optimistic that the building should be ready by the new opening date.

A total of 101 employees will be working in the building, with 81 teachers and ed techs, and 20 support staff. 

At this point he said the construction is down to finishing up the heating plant, furniture delivery and work on the gym floors.

“We have a lot of wings that are ready to go right now,” he said, “and some that aren’t ready to go at all. It’s been frustrating at best, and I really feel sorry for the families that are excited to see this school.”

And while the pandemic has affected prices of construction materials such as metals and lumber, Doak said that thankfully the materials were purchased prior to any increases. The pandemic did affect the timing of deliveries to the site, he said.

“We don’t get a lot of sleep at night,” he said. “We’re crossing our fingers and hoping this is going to finish up.”

Doak said he and administrators are planning an open house prior to the opening in which people will be able to tour the building in socially distanced groups.

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