When they head back to school later this month, students at the three Da Vinci charter high schools will have to wait a few extra weeks to move into their new, state-of-the-art Wiseburn High School in El Segundo thanks to construction delays.
The Wiseburn Unified School District — which serves students in west Hawthorne, Del Aire and Wiseburn — hoped to open the South Bay’s first new comprehensive high school in decades on the first day of school Aug. 22, but officials are now aiming to move in sometime in October.
Superintendent Tom Johnstone said the repurposed four-story Northrop Grumman building at 201 N. Douglas St. should be 95 percent complete by the end of August, but testing and certification for a host of building systems will take another six weeks.
Parents were given the news in an email blast last month, he said.
“I think people are very, very understanding, especially people who have done their own home construction projects. Typically, something comes up that causes delays,” Johnstone said. “We had a very ambitious and aggressive time line to finish by August and I don’t think people are all that disappointed.”
Vince Madsen, the district’s director of facilities planning, said three factors are to blame for the postponed opening.
First, work on the 14-acre clay soil site was hampered by the winter rainy season. But most significantly, the project’s biggest contractor, Gould Electric, backed out in April. Additionally, soil issues were found in the parking lot.
Officials said the company, which later filed for bankruptcy, was having trouble maintaining staffing due…
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