Move Back Into MacArthur High School Delayed


DECATUR--Students and staff at MacArthur High School were supposed to be back in their building by the end of winter break, but due to a somewhat ambitious construction timeline, their move will be delayed for months. 

Renovations to MacArthur were supposed to be finished in five weeks, but that deadline will not be met. 

"This was an ambitious remodeling project, this was a remodel project," said Phil Hazenfield, the project facilities manager for the high school renovations. "It isn't as predictable as a new construction."

After the first three months were spent on asbestos abatement, problems piled up, causing contractors to change course, and time was not on their side. 

"We had an 11 month schedule on MacArthur, we had an 18 month schedule on Eisenhower," said Hazenfield. "The most significant difference is just the difference between those two schedules."

It will take about another month before classrooms are complete, but more time will be needed to deliver furniture and activate utilities throughout the building. So project managers recommend delaying the move back into MacArthur until after spring break. 

"I think one advantage to postponing this to spring break is that we will be able to phase in and move more toward the work days," said Lisa Taylor, superintendent of Decatur Public Schools. "January through March as the building is cleared of contractors and cleaned, we can start to move in some of the items in the warehouse, some of the items teachers already have packed."

While giving seniors an opportunity to enjoy new amenitiamenities their high school careers come to a close. 

"Part of the goal the entire time was to have this class graduate from that building," said Taylor. "So we want to students back home, proud of their school, able to share in some of the excitement that we've had at Eisenhower for the past year."

A goal they hope to make reality without making any changes to the school calendar. 

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