Former Page site likely to be county transportation facility
Wheels were put into motion Tuesday night to pave the way for a combined transportation and fleet maintenance facility to be constructed at the former Page Middle School site on Route 17.
Both the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors and the Gloucester School Board adopted resolutions authorizing the county administrator, school superintendent and county attorney to work together to draft an agreement that would transfer ownership of that property from the school system to the county to accommodate both entities’ transportation needs. Once drafted, the agreement would come before both boards for their consideration, most likely by December.
Both the board of supervisors and school board met in a closed session to discuss the matter at the end of a joint meeting, which was held at the T.C. Walker Education Center. During that meeting, a number of other items were also discussed, including a master plan for renovations at Gloucester High School.
Prior to the closed meeting, several different options were presented for the combined transportation facility, which included the former Page site, approximately 25 acres on the current Page site off T.C. Wal-
ker Road and approximately 20 acres to the rear of the T.C. Walker Education Center. The board of supervisors had allocated $30,000 to the school system to work with an architect to provide preliminary plans of how the facility could be placed on each site.
The overall plan would include a school board transportation facility, a county vehicle garage, and a county utility yard and combined warehouse storage so that both entities can buy in bulk and save money.
A combined transportation facility has been on the radar of both boards for quite some time. “This is a very big first step,” said at-large supervisor John Meyer Jr. “We haven’t crossed the ‘T’ or dotted the ‘I’ yet, but our preliminary conclusion is that this is most likely a workable solution … It will also be a test on how well the two boards will work together to reach a common objective.”
The school system has $600,000 in its long-range capital plan for 2018 for a bus compound relocation and an additional $6 million estimated for 2019.
“We’re finally seeing progress on what I think will make the county better, the school system better and will improve the quality of our services to citizens,” added at-large supervisor Ashley Chriscoe.
GHS master plan
Gloucester school system staff also made a presentation Tuesday night about a master plan to conduct a major renovation on Gloucester High School, which they said would prepare students for success in a global economy.
Chuck Wagner, assistant superintendent for instructional services, said that GHS is what is considered a traditional school layout, with blocked off classrooms aligned down a long corridor. However, he said, the new design would better prepare graduating seniors for life after high school.