The process of building a new middle school for the Milford School District passed its first hurdle as the district’s Certificate of Need was approved by the Delaware Office of Management and Budget last week.
While Superintendent Phyllis Kohel said the district is excited at this approval, this is only the first hoop cleared for moving the district’s need for a new middle school to referendum.
“We’re excited,” Kohel said. “Obviously we’re very appreciative of the fact we’ll be given the opportunity to build another school. It’ll be a great thing for our students. We’ll make it as 21st Century as we can. We haven’t been able to do a lot of technological work with that school, so this will be a nice opportunity for us to really give our students a much greater advantage.”
Milford Middle School, a historic 84-year-old building in need of major infrastructure renovations, closed its doors in June, relocating all middle school students to Central Academy.
Now that the Office of Management and Budget has approved the Certificate of Need, the next decision will be in the hands of Gov. Jack Markell for possible inclusion in the state budget. That decision will not be disclosed until the end of January.
If the governor approves the Certificate of Need and capital funding is allocated, Milford School District will establish a facilities advisory committee consisting of school personnel, district staff members, community members and board members to walk through each phase of the referendum and decisions concerning construction and architecture.
Kohel said that the current building will more than likely be demolished and a new building will be constructed at the same site, although the specifics will not be decided until the district knows where the state stands on assisting with funding.
“We’re waiting on final confirmation as to what our split will be with the state, so that will kind of hinge on where we have to set our tax rate,” Kohel said. “Once we get that, we’ll have a pretty clear picture of how we’ll need to proceed.”
For more information about the process of a new middle school and referendum, visit www.milfordschooldistrict.org and click the “Referendum” tab.