Cape Gazette


Cape chooses Route 24 parcel for new school

By Melissa Steele | Jan 09, 2014

The Cape Henlopen school board unanimously approved the purchase of a parcel of land across from Beacon Middle School for a new 720-student elementary school.

Board members Jen Burton, Andy Lewis and Sara Wilkinson, President Spencer Brittingham and Vice President Roni Posner voted in favor of the parcel of land on John J. Williams Highway, Dorman Farm Lane and Mulberry Knoll Road. The land is owned by Paul Townsend, a Realtor with Jack Lingo Realtor in Lewes. Board member Sandi Minard recused herself from the property acquisition process to avoid a possible conflict of interest because she also works for Jack Lingo Realtor.  Board member Noble Prettyman was absent.

The board approved the purchase contingent on future voter approval of a plan to build a new school. Early estimates put the total project, which includes additional classrooms at the middle schools, at about $30 million. Because the state approved the need for the project, state taxpayers would pay about $20 million in a 60/40 split of total costs. Local taxpayers would pay about $10 million for the project.

This price includes money for the land, new school costs and classroom additions at the two middle schools – six Sussex Consortium classrooms and six regular classrooms at Beacon Middle School and six regular classrooms at Mariner Middle School.

Final cost estimates will be released soon, said Superintendent Robert Fulton.

"We're really looking forward to the next couple of months," he said. "We're excited about this ... it's really good stuff."



Comments (2)
Posted by: Marion Gentul | Jan 10, 2014 08:58

This new school would be right next to the proposed RV City nightmare. If traffic is already bad and school buses will make it worse, think about the impact of adding hundreds of RV's on their way to and from RV City. The children of Sussex County taxpayers should be the priority here, not the proponents of the ill-conceived proposed RV City. The safety of the children should come first - do you want your children stuck in even more traffic? Do you want your children playing outside this new school with a transient population of people who we know nothing about right next door? If the schools are overcrowded, our children must come first. Good schools make for strong communities and help keep property values high. Please voice your opposition to RV City before it is too late.

Posted by: Greg and Terri Kordal | Jan 10, 2014 10:35

Regarding the overlap of school in session and the proposed RV campground - be reminded that Planning & Zoning stated that the park would be open for business between March 15 and November 15.  Beacon School is open from beginning of September through the middle of June.  More than enough of an overlap to cause significant concern.  Seasonal RV guests would  likely arrive in May/June and depart in September/October.  When it comes to children it is irresponsible to take any unneccessary chances.  Why allow this RV park - which brings a unique type vehicle onto narrow roads where school buses will travel.  No rational individual who has driven on these roads agrees with the Traffic Impact Study (paid for by the developer) and rubber-stamped by DelDOT.  These are not safe for RV travel.  They will only "fix" one small stretch of Cedar Grove Road.  

If this zoning/conditional use is approved for an RV Park do you think the developers will stop?  They will continue to develop and expand the "commercial corridor" well beyond Route 1 and diminish the value of all residential development in the vicinity.  This project must be stopped for the children in school today and future generations.

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