Dover Air Force Base is currently home to one school building that houses both its middle school and its elementary school. The building has fallen behind the times and features like central air, so the base has decided to replace the existing structure with something that better fits its needs.
The Caesar Rodney School District, which is the district that the base schools officially fall under, has been offering its support throughout the process.
"On Monday, we viewed the proposed plan without any corrections," said Superintendent Kevin Fitzgerald. "We are very excited about moving forward with the base on this."
The new building will house both an elementary school and a middle school, just as the previous school did, Fitzgerald said. It is slated to occupy part of the space where the current base high school stands.
According to statements made by Fitzgerald at a recent school board meeting, the existing structure will remain open and operational until construction on the new building is complete. If everything goes according to plan, a new building may be constructed in the near future.
"If the project gets on to the Department of Defense Education Activity budget for this year then there's a good possibility that the building could be in existence by 2017," Fitzgerald said.
The planning for the new school will not go through the same channels that a typical school would, Fitzgerald said. Public hearings are not necessary, the project doesn't have to be scheduled on a Capital Improvement Plan, all due to the fact that the base is completely taking it upon themselves to construct the new school. The structure will also be paid for entirely by federal funding, Fitzgerald said.
When it comes to planning the size of the building, the base has created a formula for estimating the amount of space they will need. The Dover Air Force Base has based its plan on how many children would be in the school if every house on base had children living in it.
"The goal is to have the same amount of space," said Fitzgerald. "We think we will be able to do more with it."