KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A new elementary school in northwest Knox County will welcome its first students this fall. However, construction delays will prevent it from opening to all grade levels.

Mill Creek Elementary, the new school located at 10515 Coward Mill Road, will open its doors in August for kindergarten through second-grade students for the 2023-2024 school year.

Rising third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students who are zoned for Mill Creek Elementary will remain at their current school.

“As with many projects across the country, our contractor has faced construction delays due to materials and labor challenges,” Superintendent Dr. John Rysewyk said. “While we are disappointed that Mill Creek Elementary won’t be ready for all its students, we are excited to welcome rising kindergartners, 1st and 2nd graders to this new school in August.”

KCS is offering a one-time “sibling stay” to families who have a rising kindergartner, 1st, or 2nd grader and a rising third, fourth or fifth grader zoned for Mill Creek Elementary.

KCS broke ground in 2021 on the 124,000-square-foot elementary school to reduce overcrowding at Hardin Valley Elementary, Ball Camp Elementary and Karns Elementary.

“We understand that this situation is not ideal and we apologize for any inconvenience that it may cause our families,” Rysewyk said in a statement sent to parents. “However, given the circumstances, we feel this is the best solution as we must start making important decisions that come with opening a new school.”

Mill Creek Elementary will have a capacity of 1,200 students. It will have 56 classrooms, two music rooms, two art rooms, a library, a 6,700-square-foot gym with a stage and a storm shelter that will be able to hold 1,320 occupants.

“Given the circumstances, I believe this is the best possible solution,” said Sunny Scheafnocker, principal of Mill Creek Elementary. “We are in the process of hiring staff and working very hard to make sure that we create a welcoming environment for students and families when we open.”