Opening of two new schools in northeast Bakersfield is being delayed due to permit problems

BCSD: Permit problems with the state to blame

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Construction is in full gear for two schools being built in northeast Bakersfield by City in the Hills.

Fletcher elementary school and Cato middle school are being built next to each other on a 45 acre site and would accommodate a total of more than two thousand students in the area, most of whom currently attend Cesar Chavez elementary and Thorner elementary schools.

"Besides any overcrowding the nearby schools may be facing, these schools will also take care of any new growth that takes place in the neighborhood," said Bakersfield City School District spokesperson Steve Gabbitas.

But with good news comes some bad news.  

"Originally it was planned to be completed and ready for fall 2013. There were some permitting delays that required us to push it back to the fall of 2014," said Gabbitas.

A delay some parents find inconvenient.

"The delay is pretty harsh for parents whose students need to go to jr high. They have to wait an entire year just to have them go to that school. They may have to start at Chipman Jr. high and then transfer over to this new school next fall. Red tape shouldn't affect things like that," said parent Candace Macias.

School district officials expect the two school sites to be completed several months before the Fall of 2014.

But just because they will be done does not mean they will be sitting vacant.

"We've relaxed our build schedule so that there's people on site doing finishing touches all the way up to the end," said Gabbitas.

The district says the extra time may serve as a blessing in disguise for any last minute changes.

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