In what’s becoming customary in the Cape district, another construction milestone was celebrated Dec. 3, when officials broke ground on the $35 million Milton Elementary expansion.
Cape Superintendent Bob Fulton, who taught for seven years at then-Milton Middle School, said renovations will blend historical elements of the 1932 building, such as the gym and auditorium, with modern necessities for students and staff.
Fulton said the expansion was overwhelmingly approved by 74 percent of voters as part of a March 2016 referendum that also approved new schools at H.O. Brittingham and Rehoboth elementaries, and renovations to Shields Elementary.
“We have a very supportive community,” Fulton said. “They expect a lot of us, but they give a lot.”
The district received the certificate of necessity for Milton Elementary’s expansion in October 2015, before the state increased its construction-funding formula. At the time, the school received $30 million for the project, although construction was not scheduled to begin for years.
Cape Director of Capital Projects Brian Bassett said the state denied his request for the new square-footage formula number, but he was able to secure market-pressure funding of nearly $5 million to get closer to new formula amounts.
“We definitely needed the extra money,” he said. “Without it, the bids would have been over our budget, and we would have needed to delay the project.”
Bassett said extra funds will be used for classrooms, playground equipment, basement-level professional development and conference spaces, and other bid items that were not sufficiently funded.
“The other alternates we got were for the rubber/low-maintenance flooring, an outdoor pavilion/classroom and some other material finishes in different areas,” Bassett said.
Milton Elementary students are attending the old HOB building until renovations at Milton Elementary are complete. Renovations are expected to be finished by 2021, when the old HOB building is set to be demolished.