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Sussex Countian
  • Georgetown Planning Commission approves first of many additions to Indian River schools

  • Construction of additional classrooms to accommodate increased enrollment in the Indian River School District will soon be underway, starting with North Georgetown Elementary School.
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  • Construction of additional classrooms to accommodate increased enrollment in the Indian River School District will soon be underway, starting with North Georgetown Elementary School.
    The Georgetown Planning Commission granted preliminary approval of a conceptual site plan for the 7,800-square-foot, eight-classroom addition at its Dec. 18 regular meeting.
    “[The district] would like to have this addition constructed and opened for the next school year, so we’re working on an aggressive schedule,” said Garth Jones, senior civil engineer for the architecture and engineering firm Becker Morgan Group.
    In addition to the new classrooms, the district plans to make improvements to the school’s roundabout, allowing increased maneuverability for buses. Jones said the Delaware Department of Transportation has also requested the school add a crosswalk to its entrance.
    These classrooms and improvements are a small portion of the district’s major overhaul to accommodate a near 19 percent jump in enrollment since 2002 as well as this year’s addition of full-day kindergarten. A two-part school tax referendum overwhelmingly approved by voters on Jan. 29, 2012 provides the district with $6.2 million in new funding for the construction of 38 classrooms and the hiring of new teachers.
    According to Dave Maull, a spokesman for the district, additional classrooms will be constructed at five other schools – eight each at Georgetown Elementary, East Millsboro Elementary, Long Neck Elementary and Phillip C. Showell Elementary and two at Selbyville Middle. Additionally, a new kitchen will be constructed at Georgetown Elementary.
    Maull said these projects will be completed in phases over the next several years, with work at Long Neck Elementary and East Millsboro Elementary next in line.
    Also at the Dec. 18 meeting, the Planning Commission unanimously approved partial demolition and renovations to be made at 136 E. Market Street, where the Georgetown Mini Market currently at 139 E. Market Street will relocate.
    Commissioner Chet Johnson initially voiced concerns regarding the current condition of the building.
    “I was in there about two years ago and the second story is in really terrible, terrible condition,” Johnson said. “I would say there was a good half ton of pigeon dump and the [ceiling] eaves are wide open so any vermin could get in.”
    Bob Wheatley of The Whayland Group, developer for the project, said the owners plan to cleanup and improve the building.
    “We plan to bird proof, rodent proof and seal the eaves,” Wheatley said, adding plans also include a new parking area, new storefronts and exterior painting.
    Wheatley said the owners hope to complete the work this winter and open for business in the early spring.
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