The Delaware City Schools Board of Education on Monday approved a $12.4 million contract to move ahead with the proposed expansions to Carlisle Elementary School, Schultz Elementary School and Dempsey Middle School.
The meeting was held at Willis Education Center but was not open to the public because of safety concerns. The meeting was live streamed on the district’s Facebook page.
At the start of the meeting, Board President Matt Weller praised Superintendent Heidi Kegley’s leadership during the ongoing school closure.
“(Thank you) for your tireless work over the weekend,” Weller said. “Really doing everything you can to make sure, in these dire circumstances, that learning and opportunities throughout the district continue. We’ve seen so many different groups stepping up in terms of donations and volunteering their time. Keep up the great work.”
Kegley read a short statement from union leader PJ Terry, who represents the Delaware City Teachers Association, about the school closures.
“I wanted to take a moment to praise our teachers as we adjust to teaching online,” Terry said in the letter. “Our administrative team has been very supportive and have listened to our concerns and made adjustments as necessary. This is an unprecedented time, but we are all #PacerStrong”
Donald Shannon, a union leader with the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, also sent the board a letter, which Kegley read during the meeting.
“The UE membership appreciates the boards decision to continue to pay and provide benefits to our members most impacted by the shutdown,” Shannon wrote in the letter.
Kegley also delivered a messaged to the board about the closure, and she praised the work of district staff.
“My heart reaches out to everyone this evening whose lives have been changed due to the changes we have had to make within our school district,” Kegley said. “The entire Delaware City Schools staff has been incredible. Everyone has gone above and beyond to ensure we continue to meet the needs of our students. Every department in our district has been instrumental in creating plans to ensure that our staff is ready to provide at-home learning, our students are ready for at-home learning, and our community is ready to receive meals daily in the days ahead.”
Kegley added the district has received a large number of donations to the Pacer Pantry, which provides free food to families in the district.
“I cannot thank everyone enough for the outpouring of support we’ve received,” Kegley said. “We will continue to serve our staff, our students, families and community. It is just going to look a little bit different. We are strong #PacerFamily and that will not change.”
As for actions taken by the board Monday, it approved a $12,494,700 contract with Adena Corporation for expansions at Dempsey, Schultz and Woodward. The funds for the contract came from the 2019 Bond Issue.
At Dempsey Middle School, the old technology building will be demolished and a new two-story wing of classrooms will be added to the school, as well as a small addition near the stadium to add bathrooms and a concession stand.
The first floor of the wing will add a flex lab, a science lab, three classrooms, an orchestra room, and a storage room and practice rooms for the orchestra. The first floor will also add bathrooms. The second floor of the wing will add seven classrooms and another lab, as well as bathrooms and a mechanical room to support the new wing.
There will also be a small addition to the east side of the building to add male and female group bathrooms, a concession stand, and an outdoor storage area.
At Schultz Elementary School, the designs include a number of renovations and additions. The current office space at Schultz is scheduled to be renovated and expanded into the current music room, adding a number of offices for staff.
A wing of 10 new classrooms will be added on to the south side of Schultz. The new wing and the renovations to the existing south side of the building will accommodate fourth and fifth grade classes. The new wing at Schultz also includes a mechanical room and two intervention rooms, as well as boys and girls restrooms.
The kitchen at Schultz will also be expanded to add a freezer, cooler and storage space. This will allow the kitchen to serve as a prep kitchen and not just a warming kitchen.
The changes at Schultz also include adding a roadway connection between Cobblestone Drive and Penick Avenue. This roadway will connect to a new 12-bus capacity loop south of the school. The current bus loop is scheduled to become an additional pick up and drop off loop for parents.
At Carlisle, the entrance and front offices will be reworked to create a secure entrance that does not allow visitors access to the school before checking in with the office. The current office will be renovated into two classrooms and a restroom, while an existing classroom on the east side of the building will be renovated into offices for school staff. The addition will be constructed where the courtyard next to the bus loop is now and will add offices, a clinic, a conference room, and a new vestibule.
Construction on these projects is expected to begin this summer and are scheduled to be completed by August 2021.
Additionally, the board approved the resignation of Kara Hardison, a School-Aged-Child-Care Program assistant for the district.
The board will meet next at 6 p.m. April 13.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.