VANCLEAVE, MS (WLOX) - The first day of school at Vancleave Upper Elementary was filled with excitement and a bit of disappointment. Students and teachers expected the new administration building at the school to open Wednesday, but the front of the campus still looks like a construction zone.
Librarian Rhonda High didn't expect to be distributing textbooks in a cramped space at Vancleave Upper Elementary. She had planned on working out of the new administration building on the first day of school.
"I'm so excited. I'm so anxious. I wish it was ready today," said High.
The building is weeks away from being ready, and the front of the campus is still a mess.
"I was a little disappointed, but I know the fact that we're getting a new library, and it's not that much longer. It's going to be worth the wait," said High. "It's going to be much larger than what we have now, and we're going to have all new furniture in the library. We're going to have new technology for the students to use. It's more up-to-date, and it's something the kids can be really proud of."
The building will serve as the main entrance to the school. It will house administrative offices, the media center, counselor's office, Title I office and two computer labs.
The building was supposed to be ready over the summer, but weather, soil and drainage issues pushed the project back.
"We did have some offices completely pack up, ready to move, during the summer into the new building and to come back and realize that we are delayed, there won't be a move, it was disappointing," said Principal Karen Glass.
Computer lab teacher Cindy Jones has been watching the construction progress since the project started a year ago.
"We're very disappointed, very disappointed, but it's going to be nice when we get there," Jones said.
The project is just phase one of what will become the new Vancleave Upper Elementary. Once funding is available, the school district plans to build two academic wings and a new cafeteria.
For now, the focus is on the administration building, dubbed the "school headquarters."
"I have started cleaning and boxing and, when they say it's open, we will be ready to move," said High.
The goal now is to get the building finished by the end of the month. The teachers and staff plan to move in during the Labor Day weekend. The project costs about $3 million.