Two Sussex County Schools Officially Swap Campuses - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Two Sussex County Schools Officially Swap Campuses

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Two Sussex County schools have officially swapped campuses. Sussex Academy, a charter school, and Delmarva Christian High School announced the unusual switch late last year.

The schools made the actual exchange Tuesday at a ceremony in Dover.

They held the ceremony in the capital to accommodate state officials and lawmakers who attended.

Delmarva Christian High School Principal Mike Vonhof acknowledges from the outside two schools simply swapping campuses might seem a bit odd.

"But when you get into the details, it really does make sense," Vonhof said. "It really is the right thing for both schools."

Sussex Academy is currently a middle school.

"We have 340 students," said Patricia Oliphant, director of the academy. "Next year we hope to have 440 students, because we will be adding grade nine next year. The next years we will add grades 10, 11 and 12."

The academy expects to grow to 770 students by then. So, it needs more space.

Delmarva Christian opened a decade ago with in a 120,000 sq. ft. facility. Though planners thought the school would need that much space, it hasn't turned out to be the case. The size of Sussex Academy's 38,000 sq. ft. building is a much better fit.

So, an idea was born.

The schools have three months to trade locations.

"There is an awesome amount of work," Oliphant said. "Right now, we're in the process of finishing out the building in places that needed finishing."

"Actually yesterday we had three tractor trailers moved over to our Sussex Pines campus," Vonhoff said. "The second trailer was unloaded during our ceremony here."

And once the moves are complete, the schools will have new homes, which will eventually feel like home, because, Vonhof says, the school is not a building. Instead, it's students, the teachers and families.

Sussex Academy is giving Delmarva Christian $10 million for the difference in the property values. The total cost to the academy is $15.5 million dollars. About $6.5 million is coming from a low-interest loan from the US Department of Agriculture.

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