GARDNER, MASS. (WHDH) - Supply chain issues have caused a delayed start to the school year in Gardner, with construction work at a new elementary school put on hold.

Construction was delayed at the Gardner Elementary School as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact supply chains, preventing the school from getting specific electrical pieces in time. The school district is combining two elementary schools to create a new one. The goal was to complete the construction before the start of classes.

“So we made it through 99.9 percent of the pandemic, overcoming obstacles and issues, and then right at the finish line we had a few electrical components that were delayed and supply chain issues,” said Gardner Public Schools Director of Finance and Operations Mark Hawke.

The start of school will be pushed back two weeks at the elementary school, and one week at the middle and high schools due to unrelated contract issues.

“There’s a lot of contractual issues, busing, we only pay for 180 days a year, the teacher’s contract is 184 days,” said Hawke.

The delay has caused parents to scramble and rearrange plans, while also raising questions on how it will affect the end of the school year.

“Now we got to rearrange our plans because of work and everything, thinking we had it all squared away,” said Henri Panameno.

However, some parents welcome the extra time with their kids.

“I’m not upset about it you know I get to keep the kids home a couple more weeks and they are happy about it,” said Jess Laperle.

The district is seeking a waiver from the state for the four days the elementary school students may have to make up.

(Copyright (c) 2022 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox