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Parents concerned in opening days as ACPS works on construction projects at Mount Vernon Community School

It hasn’t been a perfect opening at Mount Vernon Community School, and Alexandria City Public Schools says it’s a work in progress.

The school system says that school bus routes have been fixed — after a few students were put on the wrong buses — and that hot meals have resumed during lunchtime.

“It is like they didn’t even expect students to return,” a parent told ALXnow. “The parents and community are besides ourselves. We were hoping for a good and safe start to school and this is just throwing us all and making us very angry and anxious.”

There a number of ongoing construction projects at the school that will not be finished until this fall.

Alicia Hart, the executive director of facilities and operations for ACPS, said that a lot of work was done at the school during the summer, including the installation of new floor tiles in the cafeteria and the removal of asbestos-containing material in the kitchen. While the kitchen project is anticipated for a November completion, hot lunches at the school resumed on August 26, Hart said.

The school library is also undergoing a renovation, and this summer the carpet was ripped out and the bookshelves and tiered seating was demolished. New carpet is currently being installed, Hart said, and the new bookshelves are expected to be delivered in October.

“While delivery is anticipated for October, there may be delays due to pandemic-related supply chain disruptions,” Hart said.

As for buses, Hart said that it is typical for transportation services staff to make some changes and refine the bus routes in the early days of a school year.

“A bus route at Mount Vernon Community School was changed by Thursday, Aug. 26, to ensure the smooth transportation of students to an aftercare program,” Hart said.

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