Woodbridge referendum would improve facilities

By Mike McClure

The Woodbridge School Board discussed the district’s pending referendum during its meeting Tuesday, January 13. The referendum, which will ask residents to approve a certificate of necessity for the construction of a track, sports fields, an agricultural area, and a request to use the current state police barracks for district offices and does not include a tax increase, will take place Tuesday, Jan. 27 from noon-9 p.m. at Woodbridge Elementary (Greenwood) and Woodbridge High School (Bridgeville). The major capital improvement project involves the use of farmland (located on Adams Road and Woodbridge Road in Bridgeville) which the district currently owns. The agricultural area, field hockey field, softball field, baseball field, and soccer field would be located on the 87 acre property, while the track (Woodbridge currently doe not have a track) would be built around the football field and would cut into the current varsity field hockey and baseball fields. The proposed project also includes storage areas and a request to use the current Troop 5 state police barracks for the district offices. The state police are moving into the former Bridgeville Visitors Center, while the district’s offices are currently housed in trailers at the Woodbridge Elementary School in Greenwood. The local share of the project ($938,000) would be paid for through debt services funds and would not require a raise in taxes. The rest of the $4,081,000 project would be funded by the state (77 percent of the anticipated cost) if the referendum passes and the state approves the district’s request for funding. During Tuesday’s meeting, Superintendent Kevin Carson explained that the debt services money could not be used for supplies and materials but can be used for the proposed project. Voters must be 18 or older, a resident of the school district, and must have their IDs.
The board was also updated on a situation that took place at the Woodbridge Elementary School library on Monday, Jan. 12. According to Barry Cooper, the district’s Director of Administrative Services, pipes in the library froze over the weekend then thawed out and burst early in the morning on Monday. A number of books and papers were damaged from exposure to the water, but quick action by district employees Chuck Cherry, Jay Brittingham, Joe Leblanc, and Brian Day saved a good part of the library’s collection. The library’s ceiling was damaged beyond repair and the status of 25 computers were unknown at the time of the meeting. At the beginning of the meeting the Michael C. Ferguson Scholarship winners were acknowledged for their exemplary efforts in the reading, writing, or math portions of state test (given last spring. The following Woodbridge students were recipients of the scholarship: Andrew Knestaut (10th grade reading); Amber Drummond (8th grad reading); and Brittany Cephas (8th grade reading). Carson also announced that the Allen Family Scholarship Program will be open to Woodbridge students for the first time. In the past this program, founded by Charles Allen, Jr. and administered by the Delaware Community Foundation, was open to Seaford High students only. Charles “Chick” Allen III decided to offer the scholarship to Woodbridge students that demonstrate a financial need and meet other criteria. Nellie G. Allen, Chick’s grandmother, graduated from the Bridgeville school system in 1913. The Woodbridge School Board election is set for Saturday, May 8. Board member Edith Vincent’s seat is the only one up for election this year. Candidates must file by 4:30 p.m. on March 5.

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