Mardela frustrated with plans to abandon renovations
SALISBURY, Md. – Dozens of people shared their concerns on Tuesday about Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver’s proposal to remove the renovation of Mardela Middle & High School from his capital improvement plans.
“Mr. Culver has not been transparent with the citizens, the Board of Ed or the county council,” said Former Board Of Education, Michelle Wright.
“The CIP has discussed over the last three months, which did not indicate any concerns with the Mardela project being funded,” said Wright.
According to the county’s Assistant Director of Administration Weston Young plans for renovations will not be on the map anytime soon.
Young says things like an increase in the state’s minimum wage, the Kirwan Commission and the superintendent’s push for the Imagine 2022 initiative have played a huge role in this decision.
“What we’re seeing is that we may not have those funds available in the years to come,” said Young.
County Council President John Cannon tells 47ABC he believes these concerns are valid, but he says changes to Mardela could have ultimately been done differently to keep it on the map.
“As you know the state of Maryland their funding is very important if you take that project completely it would be years before the state of Maryland would recognize it again,” said Cannon.
Mardela Principal Liza Hastings says there are a lot of safety concerns at the school like a failing HVAC system, and that is why she like so many others will continue to push for renovations at Mardela.
“I want the council and Mr. Culver to hear why we are so passionate about the renovation,” said Hastings, “We don’t just want a nice sparkly school, we want a place where our students can feel safe.”
According to Young, County Executive Bob Culver will consider hosting a public meeting at the school in the coming days. Meanwhile, Cannon said the council will continue to work sessions for the operating budget, but they will most likely not hold anymore for the capital improvement plans, unless the county executive sends another amendment.
Some community members also say even though they are grateful to get a new track and field at the school they would much rather see their building get renovations.