Site Work Underway For New Showell Elementary School

Site Work Underway For New Showell Elementary School
Site clearing work for the new Showell Elementary School off Route 589 is pictured. Submitted Photos

BERLIN – Site clearing is underway as the school system prepares for construction of the new Showell Elementary School.

At last week’s Worcester County Board of Education meeting, school board members approved the first requisition associated with the $47 million project. The board will receive updates on the new school throughout the two-year construction process as they approve project spending each month.

“That’s exciting,” said Bill Gordy, president of the school board as the first requisition was approved unanimously.

Joe Price, the school system’s facilities planner, said tree clearing on the 28-acre Showell property began in late September. In the eight weeks since, crews have removed trees and stumps and installed fencing around the construction site, which is located just behind the existing school.

Price said tree removal had taken some time but that the project was at this point on schedule.

“The site contractor has done an excellent job,” he said.

Crews also put up fencing around the construction site. Concrete barriers have been placed just inside the chain-link perimeter fence as an added precaution to ensure children can’t access the construction area.

“Just to be extra careful we put the jersey wall up,” Price said.

Sediment and erosion control measures are underway now and in the coming weeks, crews will begin stormwater work.

“In the next 30 days, they’ll strip the topsoil and start on the building pad,” Price said. “They’ll also start on stormwater structures and stormwater piping.”

According to Price, construction of the new Showell Elementary is expected to be less challenging than the school system’s last two construction projects — renovations ant Snow Hill High School and Pocomoke High School.

“The last two projects we did, they were occupied renovations,” Price said. “This is different in we’re not touching the existing building at all. That’s a lot easier.”

Price said the county generally tries to rebuild rather than renovate elementary schools in an effort to keep young children away from the hazards associated with major construction projects.

“Our number one priority every day is keeping those kids safe,” he said.

Construction of the new school is expected to be complete in 2020. Officials plan to demolish the existing school and replace it with a new bus loop during the summer of 2020.

“We’re going to have a very busy June, July and August of 2020 in order to open the new school in September,” Price said.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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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.