Second view atrium WAHCONAHBUILD-6.jpg (copy)

In April, crews were working on the front atrium of the new Wahconah Regional High School. The school was scheduled to open Sept. 1, but that has been pushed back to Oct. 12 because of construction delays linked to the coronavirus pandemic, the district says.

Students at Wahconah Regional High School will start the year in their old school rather than a new one, as crews hurry to complete work.

In a message to families and community members Tuesday, the leader of the Central Berkshire Regional School District said students will not make the jump to the new building next door, as expected, on the first day of the school year, Sept. 1.

Because of delays, that switch now is expected Oct. 12.

“This decision was made in consultation with our Wahconah Building Project team of experts and advisors to ensure that our 9-12 graders enter a building that is as we intended it,” Superintendent Leslie Blake-Davis wrote in the message.

Blake-Davis said that getting materials during the coronavirus pandemic has been a struggle for the project.

The new opening date pushes use of the school by students and staff for a few days more than five weeks. The opening now is set for the Tuesday after Columbus Day.

“Please know that it is rapidly moving in that direction!” Blake-Davis wrote.

Aaron Robb, the Wahconah principal, will be advising students and families about their return and the transition in a future message, she said.

“We are excited to introduce this new and amazing setting to our community once the building is ready for our learners,” Blake-Davis wrote. “We continue to see a learning setting unfold that is all that we had hoped for toward its inception as a beautiful and progressive learning space for students and staff.”

The new building will replace the 60-year-old school beside it, which will be demolished in the coming year to make room, in part, for playing fields. The district’s share of the $72.72 million school, after a state reimbursement, will be $41.33 million. Member towns are Becket, Cummington, Dalton, Hinsdale, Peru, Washington and Windsor.

Larry Parnass can be reached at lparnass@berkshireeagle.com and 413-588-8341.

Investigations editor

Larry Parnass joined The Eagle in 2016 from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, where he was editor in chief. His freelance work has appeared in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Hartford Courant, CommonWealth Magazine and with the Reuters news service.

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