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Washington County's construction boom is taking a toll on the district's schools.

School board members finally have the money to build new schools and improve existing facilities after approving a $5 million bond that will be available in October.However, two major problems are the unavailability of local contractors to perform the work and the inflated expense due to the labor shortage.

"One, things don't get done as quick, and two, things are more expensive," district architect Ken Naylor said.

Among the five schools scheduled to be built or expanded, the proposed Bloomington Hills Elementary School is presenting officials with the biggest headache.

The property has been purchased, but there's a large drainage problem at the site, Naylor said.

"The city is requiring us to do a complete drainage survey for the area," he said. And due to the construction demand, there is a waiting list for that service.

The delay will mean the badly needed elementary school - which would take students from overcrowded Bloomington and East elementary schools - will not be completed by next year.

Another problem officials face is an off-course running track at Enterprise High School. School board members asked if it could be straightened, but Naylor said that would interfere with the baseball field.

"And I don't know if I'm prepared to move the baseball field," he said.

Even if Naylor agreed to renovate the track, he said he worries about the cost and the number of workers needed for the project.