Cape district employees, Milton leaders, and state and local officials joined the community Sept. 16 to celebrate the opening of the newly refurbished Milton Elementary School.
Superintendent Bob Fulton said the school will provide an incredible learning environment for students and staff for many years to come. Its planning and restoration was six years in the making, Fulton said, and the school took a year and a half to complete.
“As you walk around, I hope you feel as proud as I do, as we do, as you see the uniqueness of it, the little things that make it special, and the fact that we blended the new and the old,” Fulton said.
The renovation was approved by 74 percent of district voters as part of a March 2016 referendum, Fulton said, and the new elementary school is a blend of classic and modern design.
“Like our other schools, it includes some special gestures that I hope you notice tonight,” Fulton said. “It makes it unique in its own way, including our very important attempt to capture the unique and interesting history of the town of Milton. That was a big focus in what we we’re doing here, because of what the town of Milton means to our school district.”
The school is the seventh of 10 building projects for the district totaling $300 million, Fulton said. The projects couldn't have happened without community support, Fulton said, including assistance from Milton council members, Speaker of the House Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth, Sen. Ernie Lopez, R-Lewes, Sussex County Councilman Doug Hudson, and Rep. Steve Smyk, R-Milton.
“These guys really go to bat for us to make it happen and support us,” Fulton said. “As you walk around, I hope you’ll be amazed.”
Cape Director of Capital Projects Brian Bassett thanked architects Tetra Tech and construction manager Dean Johnson of Richard Y. Johnson for their work on the project, along with school task forces, engineers, custodians and staff.
“It’s amazing,” Bassett said. “It’s like making a Star Wars movie that takes 10 years to pull off. To get here and see the students smiling this last week of school makes it all worth it. If you haven't been through it yet with a student, find one that you know and take them through. When you see how happy they are, you'll see that it’s all worth it.”
“Brian is the genius behind much of what we do here,” Fulton said. “He's creative, he's inventive and he strives for the very best.”
Board President Alison Myers said the building is a beautiful melding of old and new.
“I've long felt that it's our duty as educators to help our students grow wings and fly,” Myers said. “ In order to do this, we must also provide our students with a foundation, a solid set of roots. Marcus Garvey once said, ‘A people without knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.’ I am so thankful that our beautiful new MES combines Milton’s storied past with our limitless futures.”