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March 10, 2009     Cape Gazette
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March 10, 2009
 

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Cape high school to open in autumn 2009 ByLeahHoenen students." Members of this and Gary Wray agreed. leah@capegazette.com year's iunior class were among Over the summer, construe- the first to study in Beacon and tion staff will work on asbestos The class of 2010 will start its Mariner middle schools and abatement in the old building, senior.year in the new Cape have called themselves the tran- which can take six weeks to Henlopen High school. Class- sition group, he said. Yore said three months, before the struc- rooms will be ready to go, butthe that class is probably the most af- ture can be demolished, said gym will not be finished. The fected group of students in Redford. The foorint of the old campus will still be under con- Cape's history, building will be filled in before struction when students return Alan Redford of EdiS said parking lots can be installed, he after the summer break, moving students from one build- said. Janls Hanwell, assistant su- School district officials rolled ing, which must be torn down, perintendent and project manag- out a phased move-in after meet- into another requires a phased-in er, said it makes sense to have ing with EDiS construction man- approach. He said a lot o work students use the new building agers. In August2009, the main remains before September, in- when it is ready, instead of keep- building will be ready for use, cluding getting computers, furni- ing them an extra year in the old and the gym will open by No- ture and fixtures in classrooms, building while trying to patch its SUBMITTED GRAPHIC vember, said construction offi- and training staff. He said mov- fickle cooling and heating sys- AT A MAliOf 3 IrIBwith Cape Henlopen School District officials and cials. By July 2010, the building ing teachers and students in at terns, school board members, EDiS construction managers presented slides of how the will be finished, on schedule, the start of the school year is eas- high school campus will appear as the'construction project nears completion. Offi- said senior construction mana_g- ier than waiting until mid-year. Why le  d? cials say the school will open for students in fall 2009 and the gym will open that winter. er  Lucas. "Leaving the old building at Wray said, "The community Staff and officials now begin to the end of ]une and moving in in will have questions because  how soon you want it," he said. work out details of the building September gives everyone the we've allbeen saying this will oc- School board member Allan Board members and district setup as construction officials biggest window to transition and cur in 2010. They are going to Redden said, "The biggest thing' officials briefly discussed what kind of grass to use or whether to get ready for bids for furniture a better way to be most success- want to know what has hap- that seems to be affected is our and other items for the building, ful,"saidRedford. Using the hol- pened between 2010 and 2009." athletic program." Lucassaid if go withsod. High school Principal John iday break to stage a move-in Redford said the proiect will not the weather improves, allowing Cordon asked Redford where Yore said, "We've got to make would be more difficult, he said. be completed when classes start construction teams to close in the proiect contingency money this as positive as possible for the Board members Camilla Conlon in the school, but phasing the the gym, there' is a possibility it stands in regard to a second tuff move-in will allow students and could be completed earlier. Red- field, which is an add-alternate teachers to use the new building ford said once the academic sec- item for the proiect. Redford sooner, tion is finished, more employees said that decision must wait until Hanwell said last year's mild will be available for the gym. f'mal numbers are in, including winter permitted the building to This spring, Redford said, demolition and fur.ni'ture and fix- be closed in relatively quickly, so work can begin on athletic fields, tures costs. contractors could keep working grading them, putting on topsoil HanweU said those discussions in that section despite this year's and planting grass, will likely occur midsummer. cold temperatures. "We have Hanwell said athletic officials Over the summer, the board will had lots of coordination between are working on schedules to al- discuss possible uses of contin- contractors. For a proiect this low sports teams to practice and gency funds for academic, arts, Size, we could not ask for better playuninterrnpted. Redford said vocational and athletic programs coordination," she said. it can take a year and a half be- as well as public access, safety Tyrone Woodyard, plant oper- fore a freshly seeded grass field and security, she said. "We also ations director, said the district is ready for play. "That year and cannot leave out the equipment will begin distributing boxes so a half will start in the fall - you and supplies necessary to main- teachers can pack up classrooms could theoretically have them for tain the building and grounds," after spring break, next fall or spring, depending on she said. , Community committee to work on school technology District looking at improvements By I.ah H leah@capegazette.com A referendum to fund technol- ogy in Cape Heniopen schools failed last month, but it has spurred parents and community members to team up to get tech- nology for students, beginning with examining the districts' budget. Scott Cinnamon, co-president of Rehoboth Elementary School's Parent Teacher Organi- zation, spoke at the Thursday, Feb. 26 school board meeting. He called for establishment of a committee and challenged com- munity members who cam- pained alfimt the referendum to join. "The opposition asserted on the radio, in the newspaper and to everyone that would lis- ten that the money is in the budget. The district has gone on the record to my-it isn't. Only one side can be correct," he said. The committee is to be made up of district office staff with knowledge of the budget, inter- ested school board members, parent or community represen- tatives of each school and oppo- nents of the referendum, said Cinnamon. He challenged board President Esthelda Parker Selby to ioin the group, saying her vote against the referendum indicates she be- lieves technolbgy at Rehoboth Elementary is satisfactory or that she knows another way to fund upgrades. Selby said, "I am not against technology. My one vote did not stop the referendum - it did not tell people how to vote." District Superintendent George Stone said, "Our needs are great. The fimding is up in the air" He said the district has a budget surplus, but he does not recommend spending it until state funding cuts are deter- mined. Rehoboth was the only polling location that approved the refer- endum, which voters rejected Feb. 24. Igmet Ies District schools need new computers, but Stone said one of the district's top priorities is hav- ing new internet cables installed in three schools that were left out of a state program to upgrade inte.rnet service. Rehoboth Elementary, Milton Elementary and H.O. Britting- ham Elementary Schools are all without transparent land service internet lines, which the state in- stalled in all but20 schools throfighout Delaware last year. State officials say because of budget cuts, there are no plans to upgrade internet in other schools. While all buildings have inter- net, the new lines provide greater transmission cfipability. Stone said it is unfair schoolS that are held to the same stan- dards as'other schoolS did not re- ceive the upgrades. They lose valuable instructional time as a result of slow internet speeds and some instructional programs are online, he said. Cinnamon volunteers a day a week in Rehoboth Elementary School's computer lab, where he says computers are so slow, they prohibit students from getting work done. He said it is not fair the'district may have to pay for the lines to be installed. "I pay the same tax money as people in other towns, r want the same stuff" said Cinnamon. State officials have said the schools that did not receive the line were excluded because they were too far from Verizon hubs or because they were not us'rag their full internet bandwidth. Cinnamon said Rehoboth's com- puters freeze so frequently, it would.appear the school is not using its full bandwidth. Kathy O'Hanlon, technology specialist at Shields Elementary School, said Shields has difficulty with its school network. Net- work spoed is determined by the slowest machine that uses it, she said. Like a slow-moving car can jam up traffic behind it, a slow- processing machine delays the flow of data to computers further down the line, she said. During the discussion of the fiscal year 2009 budget, Oliver Gumbs, business director, said, "lust because the referendum didn't pass, that doesn't mean we're not doing anything" The district is upgrading networks, said Gumbs, because it would not make sense to put new com- puters on an old network. Middle school computer re- placements have been delivered, said Gumbs. The computers have to be set up before they are put in classrooms.