Seaford School construction plans win approval from the City Council

By Lynn R. Parks

The Seaford School District is making progress toward construction of additions to its high school. Tuesday night, the city council approved preliminary plans for the 66,000 square foot addition.

Voters approved the $36.5 million renovation package for the high school last May. The state has agreed to pay 75 percent of the cost of the project, or $27 million, leaving about $9.1 million to be paid by local taxpayers.

During Tuesday night's public hearing on the high school expansion plans, city building official Josh Littleton said that the construction will increase the size of the school by more than 40 percent. The largest part of the construction will be a 50,000-square foot wing on the front of the building to accommodate the New Tech academy. New Tech is a California-based program that focuses on project-based learning. Students are already taking New Tech classes this year.

A second, 11,400-square foot addition off the high school chorus room will accommodate the school's planned culinary arts program.

And a third addition on the south side of the building will be for an agriculture program.

Wednesday morning, chief of buildings and grounds Roy Whitaker said that the construction will be completed in phases. First will be the New Tech wing. "We plan to see steel coming out of the ground by this time next year," he said. He anticipates that it will be two years before the wing can be occupied.

Construction of the culinary arts and ag wings will follow that. Whitaker said that the entire project will take four to five years to complete.

The city council approved the construction plans by unanimous vote. The school district still has to get the go-ahead from the state fire marshal's office, the State Accessibility Board and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, which will assess its storm water management.

The plans will also come before the city council two more times.

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