Boards clash on school building plans

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Sep 19, 2012 - 02:09 PM

Discussions became heated Tuesday night between members of the Gloucester County School Board and the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors, as school officials presented ideas on several projects, including the new Page Middle School and the future of T.C. Walker Elementary School, now called the T.C. Walker Educational Center.

The joint meeting, held in the Gloucester High School auditorium, was sparsely attended by the public.

Topping the agenda on Tuesday night were plans for the future of T.C. Walker. The building was closed as a school in June in response to budget limitations. Since that time, the school board has decided to repurpose the building for community use and the board of supervisors encouraged school administration to relocate to T.C. Walker to free up county office space.

During Tuesday’s meeting, several supervisors were critical of the projected cost of readying the building for school administration. The total projected cost of the project is $3.5 million, and includes site work for the Head Start program, which is currently being housed at T.C. Walker; an adequate facility to store buildings and grounds equipment and other improvements.

"This board has received a lot of heat," said York district supervisor Carter Borden. "What in the world are you doing in that wing for almost $2 million?"