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Builders are assuring district and school administrators the new Timpanogos High School in north Orem will be ready when school starts, but officials are preparing backup plans - just in case.

"I feel pretty comfortable that we'll be ready to open," said principal Vern Henshaw. "We'll be ready . . . we better be."Henshaw, along with district administrators and members of the Alpine School Board, toured the $27.2 million school Tuesday. Builders from Okland Construction Co., the Salt Lake firm acting as general contractor for the project, told officials the facility will be able to handle the 1,475 students who will walk through the front doors on the morning of Aug. 26 for their first day at Orem's third high school.

"There's still a lot to do to finish the school, but the contractors say they'll be finished (on time) so we are hoping for that," said Gary Keetch, district administrator in charge of secondary schools.

However, builders say, not all areas of the school will have received their finishing touches by the first day of school. Okland employees concede the school's auditorium probably won't be completed until the end of September. In addition, the auxiliary gymnasium and outdoor athletic facilities will likely overrun original target dates for completion.

Henshaw and district officials are encouraging the contractors to concentrate on finishing as many of the classrooms as possible, the main gym and the fine arts area before school starts. Given those accomplishments, and armed with contingency plans for all remaining unfinished areas of the school, Henshaw says students and teachers won't be left without a place to go about the business of learning.

"We'll do what we have to do to make it happen, and then when everything's all finished off, we'll take full advantage," Henshaw said.

With 10 weeks remaining before classes start, the building may be just a bit behind schedule, but the Timpanogos Timberwolves' athletic teams are getting a jump on things.

Henshaw said summer sports camps for fall sports like football, girls soccer and volleyball have already been held or are going on right now. Timpanogos coaches are holding the camps at various city facilities and have also utilized Canyon View and Oak Canyon junior high schools.

Henshaw said the school's first couple of football games are away, giving landscapers and builders until the end of September to get the field and bleachers ready. Other athletic events may be held at Mountain View and Orem high schools until Timpanogos' facilities are ready, he says. Officials say sack lunches may even be trucked into Timpanogos if the cafeteria is not ready on time.

Board members touring the school Tuesday seemed especially impressed by the school's aerospace lab, where students will take flight aviation, flight attendant and aircraft maintenance courses.

Other highlights included the day-care center, which will enlist students in child development classes to care for children of school and district employees as well as patrons; and the openness and high windows of the commons area, which affords a majestic view of the school's namesake, Mount Timpanogos.