SALISBURY, Md.- For the students and teachers of Bennett Middle School in Wicomico County, this has been a long time coming. On Tuesday, the Wicomico County Council voted 5-2 to approve funding for a brand new school. Getting to this point has been full of hurdles and still, not everyone is on board with the project.
Council President Joe Holloway and Councilman Bob Culver both voted "no" to approving the sale of $12.5 million in bonds to fund the new Bennett Middle School. They argue that it is a matter of being responsible to the taxpayers.
But others say moving forward is about being responsible for the children.
"I'm really excited," said Bennett Middle School Principal Liza Hastings. "I think that it's definitely a project that's long overdue."
With the county's nod of approval a 35-acre parcel of land in Fruitland will soon turn into a construction site and the new home of Bennett Middle.
School officials said the hope is to have students walking the grounds and heading through the doors of their brand new building in the fall of 2015.
Holloway and Culver told WBOC they believe a new school is needed, but that the plans are over-the-top and should be scaled back to save taxpayer money.
Yet the school is happy to see the project moving forward.
"I respect the council and the fact that they do have to consider how to be financially responsible," noted Hastings. "In this case, they just realized that it's definitely for the best for our community and for our children."
"I think it'll be hugely beneficial to the students that are coming up through the years," explained Jill Boyle.
"I know that some of the students that are here now probably won't get a chance to see it, but then the up and coming students will get a good chance to get in somewhere and start and learn new things in a new place," added Lakishia Banister.
Construction on the new Bennett Middle School is set to begin early next year.
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