The Capital School District Board of Education voted 3-1 to approve renovation plans for three Kent County Community School facilities, which house special needs students around the district.
The schematics were drawn up by the district's architectural consulting firm ABHA Architects.
The Capital School District asked the state Department of Education for a certificate of necessity roughly two years ago to renovate the Kent County Community School sites located at Booker T. Washington Elementary and Central Middle, as well as the KCCS main campus, located at the back of William Henry Middle School.
The proposed renovations would be paid for through state funding due to the fact that Kent Community School is a countywide program, said Capital Superintendent Dr. Michael Thomas. The state allocated $13,278, 337 for the project in the of the FY 2014 bond bill.
KCCS Principal Chris Lehman said the renovations are badly needed due to overcrowding.
"The growth of our population has just been exponential," Lehman said. "The growth has almost been 150 percent since I started here seven years ago. We are running out of classroom space."
Carl Krienen of ABHA Architects and Bradley Cowen of EDiS, the district's construction management consultant, outlined what the renovations would entail at each of the sites.
The majority of the renovations will take place at Booker T. Washington Elementary. An addition will be constructed near the back of the school that would connect to the front of the main building and to two kindergarten pods that are currently on site. The two spaces would be joined by an enclosed walk-way, Krienen said. Renovations to the historic portion of the school, built in the 1920s, would create administrative space, physical and occupational therapy rooms, as well as physical education space and classrooms.
The new addition would house six new classrooms, Krienen said, with two additional classrooms included as alternate options if the budget allows. The total budget for the Booker T. project is $10,913,053.
The construction at Central Middle will include finishing the basement of the school and outfitting it with two classrooms, a therapy room, bathrooms, a corridor and an elevator that will go to the floor above. The budget for this project totals $818, 822.
The renovations at the KCCS main site will include the addition of three new classroom spaces, which will extend out into the school's playground area. The project, which totals $1,546,462, will also involve relocating an administrative area and separating some of the classrooms.
The projects are scheduled to go to bid in March, with construction anticipated to begin in the summer, Cowen. The work at Central and the KCCS main site are expected to be complete by the end of the summer, and the Booker T. project is slated to be complete by May 2015.
Page 2 of 2 - Due to the construction, the Capital School District needs to locate a place to house the KCCS students that typically attend a summer program at the KCCS's sites. The KCCS students will temporarily relocate to the current Dover High School for the summer months; if need be they will remain until September, to allow the majority KCCS renovations to be complete in one fell swoop, Thomas said.
Board members Matt Lindell, Phillip Martino, Jr. and Sean P. M. Christiansen voted to approve the schematics, while Board Vice President Brian Lewis voted against it, stating he did not feel two days was enough time to review the plans before meeting Wednesday. Kay Dietz-Sass was absent.
IN OTHER BUSINESS
The board voted to grant a permanent easement to the Delaware Department of Transportation in order to install and maintain sidewalks on Dover High Drive.
The board also approved to grant a temporary construction easement to either Rinnier Development Company, the developer Leander Lakes, the subdivision under construction near the new Dover High School, or DelDOT for the construction the remainder of Dover High Drive.