The Gloucester County Board of Supervisors voted 4-2 Tuesday night to borrow $18 million for the Page Middle School project during its meeting in the colonial courthouse. The board also voted to allocate the estimated $7.5 million in insurance for replacement of the school, which was severely damaged by a tornado on April 16.
It will be up to the Gloucester County School Board to decide whether the school system will have enough money to rebuild the school at the desired T.C. Walker Road site or will be forced to keep it at its current site on Route 17.
Ben Kiser, Gloucester’s superintendent of schools, said he and the school board are "not totally pleased" with the decision that was made Tuesday night, as the amount fell short by about $5 million of what the school board had requested prior to the meeting.
"The school board, staff and I now have to regroup," Kiser said, but added that the school board sticks by its decision that the T.C. Walker site is the most appropriate location for the school to be rebuilt.
The motion to borrow $18 million was made by board chair Buddy Rilee after other board members had gone back and forth on several different figures they were willing to borrow for Page. Rilee said the $18 million would give the school board a bit of a "cushion" compared to an earlier motion by York district supervisor Carter Borden to borrow just under $15 million.
Ware district supervisor Gregory Woodard and at-large supervisor Louise Theberge voted against the $18 million motion. Gloucester Point district supervisor Bobby Crewe abstained.