School and elected officials broke ground for the Sussex Consortium’s new building May 14.
Celebrating on a cleared field outside Lewes, Cape Director of Capital Projects Brian Bassett said, “This has been way too long in the making, and we’re excited to be here. This has been most challenging, but will be the most rewarding. Our students deserve the best.”
In 2016, the state of Delaware agreed to pay 100 percent of the costs for the new school, roughly $22 million in construction and $1.8 million for 26 acres fronting Sweetbriar Road.
Currently located in the Lewes School on Savannah Road, the Sussex Consortium offers services to special-needs students and is an option to all Sussex County school district students with an educational classification of autism. The school originated as a pilot program in 1975; it is now open year-round and serves students age 3 to 21.
The new school is the first in the district to be designed specifically for Consortium students. Approximately 200 students will attend the new school when construction is complete in fall 2019, and about 100 more Consortium students will be located in classrooms throughout the elementary, middle and high schools.
“We serve all students who need us,” said Sussex Consortium Principal Dr. Vivian Bush, who noted staff members provided input on school design. “Preschool is our fastest-growing population.”
“I can guarantee you this is going to be an awesome facility,” said Cape Superintendent Bob Fulton. “It will meet the needs of students, staff, parents, everyone.”