McNair Elementary parents say opening date remains uncertain

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BROWNS SUMMIT, N.C. -- McNair Elementary parents said they remain unsure when the school will open after officials announced Friday the school would not meet the August 20 deadline due to construction delays and problems with subcontractors.

Kindergarten and first graders will start the year at Brightwood Elementary. Third, fourth and fifth graders will start at Jeese Wharton Elementary. Second graders will be split between the schools, but parents of those students say they've still not been notified where to send their students.

Belinda Bullard said she drives her 7-year-old graddaughter to school every day and was excited when they received a call last Tuesday saying McNair would open on time.

"But then friends started calling Friday telling us that it would be delayed. One week before school starts? That's so frustrating," she said.

Bullard said her granddaughter will be starting second grade.

"Everyone is worried, everyone is scrambling. We don't even know what school Carrie is going to," she said. "I just hope they aren't going to change her classmates or teacher when they finally get settled at the new school."

The school system's legal counsel Arty Brolick told FOX8 they are working on a new timeline to be released later this week. She said they are also finalizing a relocation plan for students and teachers.

Construction delays were prompted the week of July 4th. The electrical subcontractor Divine Electric left the job, according to construction workers and Brolick. Several of Divine's workers are reportedly filing claims against the surety bond of the project, which is like insurance in the event workers are not paid.

Johnny Chaudroir said he stopped getting checks on July 5.

"I was hired as an electrician. I got several checks, but then we worked 12 days straight through July 4th. They still owe me $1,600," he said.

Neither the general contractors Farley Associates, Inc. nor Divine Electric returned phone calls from FOX8 Monday.

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