Funding Okay Moves Showell Project Forward

SNOW HILL – County officials approved a funding request this week that will allow plans for a new Showell Elementary School to move forward.

On Tuesday the Worcester County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a $375,000 funding request from the Worcester County Board of Education. The funding will allow the school system to proceed with pre-construction and bidding for the new school.

“We will begin completing the final phase of the design later this month,” Superintendent Lou Taylor said. “With the completion of the construction documents at the end of January, we are prepared to move to the next phases of the project.”

Taylor said Oak Contracting had been selected to handle construction management. He said that once the commissioners approved Tuesday’s funding request, Oak Contracting would begin reviewing construction drawings and preparing bid documents. He said the company would also start marketing the project to prospective bidders.

“That’s going to be very critical because I have met with the owner of Oak and told him how important it is to make sure we get bids in for this project,” Taylor said.

The school system plans to release bid documents at the end of April and open bids by mid-June.

Construction of a new school to replace the aging and outgrown Showell Elementary is expected to cost roughly $42 million. Taylor said Tuesday that the school system had secured $2.5 million of the $4.3 million it requested from the state for the project. He said he and other officials met with the Interagency Committee on School Construction in December to appeal for the remainder of the funding request and that they expected a decision soon.

“We anticipate a funding decision for the project in late February,” he said.

The commissioners voted 7-0 to approve the $375,000 funding request to allow pre-construction and bidding to proceed. Taylor expressed his gratitude for the county’s support.

“I want to take this time to thank you and commend you for your support and participation throughout the Showell design process and for your continued support of our educational system,” Taylor said.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

Alternative Text

Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.