Despite construction not being complete, Liberty Middle School will open on time

Posted at 5:31 PM, Aug 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-15 19:36:59-04

“This was nothing but a field two years ago, it was just dirt,” said John Brennan, the Papillion-La Vista Community Schools Director of Building and Grounds.

As Papillion-La Vista continues to grow, its school district must keep up. 

“I think it is pretty crowded here and it’s just going to keep growing,” said Papillion-La Vista resident Cara Weber.

A 2012 multi-million dollar bond issue helped pay for both a new elementary and middle school for the district. Around 18-months ago work began on Papillion-La Vista’s third middle school. 

“We got an email saying it wasn't going to be open until the first day of school, we kind of assumed they were running behind,” said Weber.

One Liberty Middle School parent was shocked by what he walked into on Monday. 

“I was like wow there are concrete floors and ladders everywhere.  It looked like a hard hat area” said Rick Berge. 

Rick Berge says he would have liked his son to start seventh grade in a finished school, but delaying the start of school was not an option for the district. 

“You don’t tell the guys you’re pushing it back a day or two, or a week, no matter what you’re going to make it work,” said Brennan.

John Brennan the Director of Building and Grounds says finding quality contractors to get projects done in a timely fashion was the biggest obstacle.  The school kitchen, gym and a lot of the flooring won’t be complete when kids arrive Tuesday. 

“It’s not what we want, but we are going to make it work,” said Brennan.

District Spokeswoman Annette Eyman says there were areas of the building that took priority for completion like the classrooms.   While some parents are concerned about the school not being complete, many aren't too worried. 

“They’ll be fine.  They’ll still learn and they’ll figure everything out,” said Weber who will have both a seventh and eighth grader at Liberty. 

Eyman says the building might not be 100% ready, but the teachers are. 

“What really matters are your teachers and the staff in this building are so excited to be here,” said Eyman.