Baxter Springs Schools Battles Weather to Make Deadline

Rain has caused some unanticipated delays for construction at a Southeast Kansas school as crews work against the clock. Constructions crews in Baxter Springs, Kansas are working to finish rebuilding before the new school year starts. The District says it may be a photo finish-but it is confident the job will get done.

Stopping by her son’s school to register for classes, a construction zone isn’t exactly what Lori Pommier expected to see with school a little over a week away. But even so she says she was impressed with the progress.

“Considering the amount of work they’ve gotten done just in the past couple days, it’s fascinating,” said Pommier.

However with more than double the amount of rain fall this year compared to last, the Baxter Springs School’s Superintendent says it’s been a learning experience on getting things done.

“Number one, never try and predict the weather, and number two never underestimate, quality construction crews-they know what you need and they’ll get it done,” said Superintendent Dennis Burke.

Burke says when rain falls outside, these crews tarp up and move inside to work on the remodel, being sure not to waste a moment–rain or shine. He says the project has turned into its own version of Extreme Makeover, with crews working their hardest to make up for wet time.

“Worse case and we do have a plan B, and action C we have other entrances to get our kids in the building safely, so we’ve got a plan for that,” Burke said.

According to Burke, the main building of Lincoln School hadn’t been remodeled since it was built in 1952, with it’s original title floors still standing. However he suspects students and teachers coming back on August 14 for the start of school will be amazed at the transformation.

And Pommier says she already is.

“Teachers like this deserve the best possible environment, and they are getting it now, Pommier said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, crews were able to start pouring concrete and smoothing out the main entry way. And Burke says he remains confident Baxter Springs kiddos and teachers will start the school year off with a finished building.