Cape chooses Route 24 parcel for new school
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."