Because there’s been a lot of buzz in the media regarding plans to construct a new Showell Elementary School (SES), the Commissioners want to assure the public that they remain committed to constructing an affordable new school that is attractive, safe, and affords a climate that is conducive to learning.
The Commissioners took the first step toward making a new SES a reality on October 6, 2015, when they approved the Pro Forma cost estimate to construct a new, 90,000-square-foot SES at a total project cost of $37,181,000. At that time, they also approved funding of $225,000 to Becker Morgan Group to complete the Educational Specifications and Schematic Design phases for the SES project.
On September 20, 2016, BOE and Becker Morgan officials presented plans to the Commissioners for a 94,866-square-foot SES at an estimated cost of $45,967,959. Though no formal action was taken on the plans at that time, the Commissioners will meet with BOE officials again next Tuesday, October 4, to further discuss the design plans.
“A great deal of information was presented, and postponing discussions for two weeks gives the Commissioners the time needed to properly digest that information,” Commission President Bunting said. “We are proud of the Worcester County education system and remain committed to building a SES that builds on the unparalleled educational opportunities we offer our youth.”
With the support of the BOE and the community, the Commissioners have unanimously funded the following school projects in order of succession in recent years: constructed a new Stephen Decatur Middle School, renovated and expanded Stephen Decatur High School, constructed a new Ocean City Elementary School and Worcester Career and Technology Center; and fully renovated and expanded both Pocomoke High School and Snow Hill High School. In addition to school funding, the County has shouldered a debt service that has increased from $2.4 million a year in FY05 to $10.7 million for FY17 to fund these school construction projects. Plans to construct a new SES are next on the horizon.
The County Commissioners appreciate all the support from the communities as we work together to make our school system the very best in the state to provide our children with a bright future.