Local News

Amazon Cited as Cause of Delay

(New Buffalo, MI) - Supply chain issues are apparently to blame for the lengthy delay in completing the across street expansion of New Buffalo Middle School-High School. The metal beam structure is up for the 10,000 square foot building to house the high school robotics class and storage for the Performing Arts Center.


New Buffalo Area Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Leslie said the facility that started to be constructed last summer likely would have been finished by now had there not been supply chain issues. Initially, he said the exterior panels covering the metal structure were supposed to be delivered in November.


Delivery was later pushed back to January, and now the outside panels are expected to arrive in mid-April, which is currently the biggest holdup for the job. 


Dr. Leslie said the same metal wall panels ordered for the school building are the same kind being used in the new Amazon warehouses going up nationwide, and there isn’t enough readily available for everyone waiting for their orders to arrive.


“We kind of got slid down the priority list,” Leslie said.

Leslie said he’s hoping construction of the building will be completed by early August.


Other features of the building will include wood and metal workshops for robotics students to build their computerized devices and props to be constructed for upcoming plays and musicals at the Performing Arts Center. All of that work is occurring right now but in a space too cramped and without adequate room for storage.


The project also involves building six pickleball courts next to the school bus transportation garage and constructing a nearly finished pavilion containing bathrooms and a drinking fountain. As a result, the size of the skate park will become about 50-percent larger than it is presently.


Leslie said the space vacated from relocating the current pickleball courts would be used for turning the half-court basketball court into a full-sized court with a sports court playing surface.


All of the work costs about $5 million. Leslie said the construction delay is not causing any significant issues, but some people eager to use the facilities are becoming restless.


“I think once those wall panels get here, it’ll really get moving along pretty quickly,” he said.

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