Inspection delays start of classes at Steamboat Springs Middle School | SteamboatToday.com

Inspection delays start of classes at Steamboat Springs Middle School

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The first day of school will be delayed at least one day at Steamboat Springs Middle School.

Students across the district were scheduled to start school Tuesday, but now sixth- through eighth-graders will have to wave goodbye as their younger and older siblings head to class.

The middle school added new classrooms and a new heating and air conditioning system this summer as part of ongoing improvements. While the actual construction is finished, a state inspector still has to sign off on the electrical work.

"It's my understanding there's only three inspectors to cover the whole state," Superintendent Brad Meeks said. "We're expecting them to get here Monday."

Meeks said teachers haven't been able to get into their classrooms but are preparing what they can by borrowing space at Soda Creek Elementary School and The Steamboat Grand hotel. High school staff also has assisted middle school teachers as they try to get ready without actual classrooms.

The school district will allow some teachers inside the school this weekend, but they'll have to wear hard hats and vests as a safety precaution until the last inspection is done.

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Meeks said inspections have been going very well all summer, and they don't anticipate problems during Monday's electrical inspection by the state.

"We hope (teachers and staff) can get in that afternoon," Meeks said.

In the meantime, containers filled with teachers' furniture and items still can be seen outside the school.

While most of the construction is cleaned up, Meeks said it was important to delay the first day of middle school so that teachers can get their items moved in and ready.

"It's been an enormous amount of work in a short time,” Meeks said. “And our custodial crew has been great at getting everything cleaned and put back together.”

Meeks said it is always possible something could go wrong with the state inspection and there will be further delays for the middle school, but he hopes not.

"We don't have any reason to believe it's not going to be approved. Of course, you never know," said Meeks.

Frances Hohl is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today.