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Delays related to coronavirus push back opening of middle school in Dixon, Calif.

April 23, 2020
John Knight Middle is now scheduled to open in January instead of August

Delays attributed to the coronavirus pandemic have pushed back the opening of a middle school in Dixon, Calif.

The Vacaville Reporter says Dixon Unified School District officials have announced that the opening of John Knight Middle School has been pushed back from August to January.

“We believe it’s vital to the health and safety of our students, teachers, staff, and parents to have a fully operational and completed renovation before we occupy the site,” Dixon Superintendent Brian Dolan says. "We did not want to have the students and teachers come to an incomplete school with construction activities still occurring.”

Officials say that campus closures beginning in March have affected the district’s ability to plan and organize the final selection of furniture and equipment for the site and give staff the appropriate amount of time to bring materials over to the new site. That work is expected to be completed in the fall.

The district is renovating the former Dixon High campus and converting it to John Knight Middle. The site housed the high school from 1940 to 2007.

“As with every renovation of older buildings, there are lots of unknown factors, including how much damage there is due to dry rot and termites and structural wall rebuilding to meet all California’s strict earthquake standards and fire codes,” officials wrote. "The construction team has continued on schedule up to this point in the project. However, the recent inclusion of extensive work to bring the kitchen area up to current codes and replace all of the windows on the campus prevents the project from being completed in time for the start of the school year.”

The rescheduled opening is set for Jan. 6, when students are set to return from winter break. If campuses are allowed to open in the fall, middle schoolers will continue attending classes at the existing middle school—CA Jacobs.

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