Marnie Simons Elementary School in Hamburg

Marnie Simons Elementary School

(Hamburg) -- Weather has not been kind to a lot of school improvement projects in KMAland this year--including in Hamburg.

Work continues on a safe and secure entryway renovation project at Marnie Simons Elementary School. Plans called for the project to be finished by the first day of school in late August. But, Hamburg School Superintendent Dr. Mike Wells tells KMA News precipitation has delayed its completion.

"We're expecting the outside framing of the building to occur in the next couple weeks," said Wells. "That will enclose it. It's doubtful that will be ready by opening day. We'll just have to play it by ear, and see if the weather cooperates with us."

In addition to the weather, the superintendent says the district has faced other hurdles in making the project a reality.

"Unfortunately, because we're a small school, there are so many steps you have to take in order to day any addition," he said. "You have to have a certificate of need. You have to go before the state board (of education), and ask permission to do it. So, it's been a much longer drawn out situation than it should have been."

When finished, Wells says the new entry will meet the district's goal of improving student and staff safety.

"When we did the strategic planning three years ago," said Wells, "the number-one concern of our public is safety within our school, and being able to secure our school. Our office is currently tucked back, and you really can't see people entering the building. So, someone can come through the front door, and nobody notices them until they get halfway down the hallway."

The superintendent says the entryway will also improve the building's handicap accessibility. While Hamburg is a small community, Wells says additional safety precautions are necessary this day and age.

"We live in a very safe community, and a safe state," he said, "but it only takes one person. We want to make sure our kids are safe, and our staff is safe. So, the safe and secure entryway will be like similar to other schools. You'll have to buzz in. There will be eyes on, and they'd have to come through the office to enter the building. So, we'll know every single person who comes into the building."

Hamburg Electric is the project's contractor.