Page Middle School design to top Tuesday’s agenda

Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Oct 02, 2012 - 09:47 AM

The design of the new Page Middle School will top the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors’ agenda Tuesday night. A discussion on whether the board will fund a full-size gymnasium and the ability to use that facility as an emergency shelter will take place during the meeting, which will begin at 7 o’clock in the colonial courthouse.

Last Tuesday night, the board of supervisors met jointly with the Gloucester County School Board to discuss the preliminary design aspects of the school, among other topics. Toward the end of the four-hour-long meeting, several supervisors expressed their concern that the new Page school had only a scaled-down gym in the plans.

Gloucester’s superintendent of schools Ben Kiser said adding a full-size gym to the plan would cost an estimated $2.8 million more than what has been allocated by the board of supervisors.

The supervisors have agreed to give the school division $18 million for the new school to go along with $8 million in insurance proceeds from the old building, which was damaged by a tornado in April 2011. The board also approved a $6 million interest-free federal school construction loan, which will be included in the $18 million figure.

“A competitive gym gives a sense of pride,” said Gloucester Point district supervisor Chris Hutson during last Tuesday’s joint meeting. Hutson said that both the full-size gym and a complete auditorium, which has also been reduced in size to cut costs, should be included in the design.

Kiser has also said the $26 million will not fund the necessary furniture and technology for the new campus.