Improvements Coming for West Salisbury Elementary - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Improvements Coming for West Salisbury Elementary

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SALISBURY, Md.- "Fixing it rather than rebuilding it" is the plan Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver has adopted for West Salisbury Elementary School.  

The county has released a report on the aging elementary school and the improvements the building needs. The county has opted to make the improvements, which will be a fraction of the cost of tearing it down and building a whole new one.

Taking the plans of building a brand new school off the table is one of the first things Culver did when he took office in January. It was a move that was met with some criticism from parents and members of the community pushing for a new school.

"Forty-one million dollars is a huge project we cannot afford right now," Culver said. "It's about the cost, it has a lot to do with it, but it's also about taking care of our properties."

Culver said the first way to take care of the West Salisbury Elementary property is by replacing the windows and air conditioning system.  Culver hopes to have $2 million in the upcoming Capital Improvement Plan to make those repairs by the start of the next school year.  But the new school plan was not the only thing the new county executive wants to tackle. Saving money and making cuts has been Culver's objective since the beginning of his term.

"Well what was originally planned for this year was $1.25 million, and that was just strictly for plans and studies, and that just seems like a lot of money for studies and plans," Culver said. "I've asked all department heads to cut our budgets by 2.5 percent this year."

Culver said there are other priorities in the county that need funding, and making cuts will go a long way in ensuring everything is paid. Culver said that money will be put aside this year and for the next two years to make repairs to the old courthouse in downtown Salisbury. 

Culver also said more resources will need to be allocated to fighting the growing heroin epidemic in the county.

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