Ocean City Today

Wor. County Commissioners approve 2019 capital plan

Showell Elementary School replacement, roof jobs at PMS and SHMS outlined
By Brian Gilliland | Nov 09, 2017

(Nov. 10, 2017) The advancement of the Showell Elementary School project is the headline feature of the fiscal 2019 capital improvement plan for county public schools, which was received and approved by the Worcester County Commissioners on Tuesday.

The state requires an approved plan every year by the end of November.

Superintendent Lou Taylor presented the plan to the commissioners, and outlined some of the recent steps the schools have taken to realize the replacement elementary school.

In January, state agencies approved the planning request submitted in last year’s capital improvement plan, and in April, the state board of education approved updated schematic design documents. Another state board, Maryland Department of General Services, approved the design development documents in August.

Taylor said he expects to submit construction documents to the Maryland Department of General Services this January for review and approval.

All that, Taylor said, was contingent upon the commissioners’ approval on Tuesday.

According to the plan, pending state and local funding approvals, now estimated at $42.5 million, the project is scheduled to go to bid in June, with construction expected to begin next October.

Of that $42.5 million, only about $4.34 million is expected to come form the state, with the rest being funded by the county.

Future projects were also outlined in the plan, which was already presented to the state board of public works last month. Taylor said those projects received preliminary support from the state Board of Public Works, composed of Gov. Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy Kopp.

Two major projects were presented by Taylor. The first is a proposed addition to Stephen Decatur Middle School that would eliminate the need for the nine portable classrooms were students currently attend classes.

The other projects are roof replacements for both Pocomoke Middle and Snow Hill Middle schools.

After these projects are complete, Taylor noted in a memo to the commissioners, the schools plan to transition from major school construction projects to focus on smaller undertakings.

“It is our belief that we have been successful in addressing our school construction needs because of the combined efforts of our board of education, county commissioners, state legislators and community members,” Taylor wrote.

Commissioner Chip Bertino made the motion to approve the plan, which was accepted unanimously by the other commissioners. Bertino also represented the county and the schools during the meeting with the governor, comptroller and treasurer.


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