GUSD working to keep Eliot Elementary School construction on track

Gilroy
– An expansion project of Eliot Elementary School is nearly a
month behind schedule, school officials discovered during
Thursday’s Board of Education meeting.
Gilroy – An expansion project of Eliot Elementary School is nearly a month behind schedule, school officials discovered during Thursday’s Board of Education meeting.

“That was the first time we heard that we might have a potential problem on our hands,” board member Jim Rogers said. “It’s critical that we get it done. We have five months to get it operational.”

As part of the school district’s master plan, Eliot Elementary School’s expansion project includes building a new two-story facility to increase capacity for its growing enrollment.

This past year, Eliot students have been housed at the Ascencion Solorsano Middle School while their school has been under construction. However, the first eighth-grade class at Solorsano is going to phased in this September, so Eliot students will be forced to move to their new school – if it’s done.

Due to heavy rainfall this winter construction fell behind schedule, Charles Van Meter, Gilroy’s director of facilities planning development and construction said.

But with five months until school starts, he is confident the project will be completed in time.

“For sure, they’ll be done when school starts next year,” Van Meter said. “Most of the site work is done – (the contractors) will not pull off the job because of rain.”

With the roof finally secured, additional rainfall expected this week should not put the builders any further off schedule.

“It appears that we’re behind,” Van Meter said. “But we’re not. (The contractors) built rain days into the schedule. We’re working on rain days.”

Periodic updates have been requested by the board so the construction timeline can be monitored.

“I am very concerned,” said Gilroy Superintendent Edwin Diaz. “We have had an usually wet winter, and I understand that there are rain days built into the contract, but I want to be clear on exactly how many days we are behind, what the plan is to get us back on track, and how much this is going to cost.”

A meeting between the contractor, planning facilities, and superintendent is being scheduled.

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