SAN ANTONIO -- Some subcontractors working on two major NEISD school construction projects are still waiting for paychecks, three weeks after they were told they'd receive backpayments immediately.
Meanwhile, the first day of school is weeks away, and NEISD knows the two new schools will not be ready for class.
Construction on Vineyard Ranch Elementary School and Las Lomas Elementary School are months behind schedule because Summit Builders, the contractor hired by the district, has not paid its subcontractors.
Some changes were made back in July after Summit Builders missed its original deadline. The district said then everyone would be paid immediately, but some workers tell News 4 they still don't have paychecks.
If everything had gone according to plan, more than 1,000 students would soon be walking the hallways for the first time at two brand-new schools.
But while construction never stopped, it certainly slowed because the contractor missed its payments.
"Once we learned that these subcontractors still had not gotten paid, we went to work," Aubrey Chancellor from NEISD says. "We've been calling, we've been emailing, we've really been putting pressure on the bonding company."
Chancellor says a bonding company is basically insurance for this type of major construction project. If there's a problem with finances, it's the bonding company that steps in to make sure the project gets back on track.
"The big difference is instead of NEISD paying Summit directly, we now pay the bonding company," she says. "The bonding company doles out the money to the subcontractors."
But some of the workers reached out to News 4, saying they still haven't been paid for their work. Those workers did not want to go on camera for fear of losing their jobs.
Those workers are from two different subcontracting companies. Local contractor associations confirmed their complaints.
"It's very frustrating," Chancellor says. "We feel for these subcontractors. We want them to be paid as soon as possible. The information we know at this point is some of these subcontractors will be getting paid tomorrow and the rest of them should be paid in full by next week."
And remember, construction was supposed to be done by last month. The district says the bonding company will have to pay penalties for every day it's been late.
The goal is still to wrap up construction in December so students can start, if not a new school year, at least a new calendar year, in new buildings come January.