Showell Elementary School project moves forward
Officials say the Showell Elementary Replacement School Project moves forward on Wednesday after the Worcester County Commissioners approval of $1.6 million for school design plans on Tuesday.
County Commissioner President Madison J. Bunting said “I am very pleased that the hard work and dedication of the County Commissioners, Board of Education (BOE) members and our staff have brought us to this point, where we have now approved the proposed Showell Elementary School (SES) Replacement project with a conceptual design that will meet the needs of the students at an affordable cost to Worcester County.”
The County Commissioners reportedly unanimously approved both the school system’s Capital Improvement Plan and approved funding the $1.6 million design plan request to start the next steps in building the estimated $42.4 million Showell Elementary School.
Officials say that plans include the schematic design, design development, and construction documents for the 94,866 square foot facility.
Interim Superintendent of Schools Louis Taylor said “This is a great day for Worcester County Public Schools and the Showell community, through a true collaborative effort by our Board of Education, the County Commissioners and the administrative teams for both bodies, this important capital project is moving forward. I am humbled by the support and partnership I have experienced in working with everyone involved on this project, and to see it move forward formally on my first day in the superintendency is wonderful.”
At the meeting on Tuesday, Bunting reportedly joined Taylor at the podium to share his appreciation for the dedication shown by the Board and Taylor.
Bunting said, “Special thanks to Board President Jonathan Cook and Superintendent Louis Taylor for inviting the Commissioners to be a part of the SES replacement planning process,” all involved rolled up their sleeves to resolve issues and through cooperation and communication have developed plans for a first-rate new SES that teachers, students and the community can be proud of at a cost that will allow the Commissioners to address other vital needs and capital projects of the County and the Board of Education in the future.”
Officials say, architectural firm Becker Morgan Group should be able to finish design documents by spring 2018, and state school construction funding should be approved by the Interagency Committee on School Construction (IAC) during the same time period, letting the project to go out to bid in summer 2018. School construction is reportedly set to kick off in early 2019.
The new Showell Elementary School will take the place of the current 38-year-old school, which a 2014 feasibility study named as having major instructional and building system deficiencies.
Space in the new school will reportedly take away the need for the nine portable classrooms that are now in use and provide room to move the fourth grade back to SES from Berlin Intermediate School. Furthermore, the new facility will reportedly be designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver construction standards and certification.