EASTON, Md.- After years of discussion, it seems that there is now a plan and a path forward for a new Easton Elementary School. Currently, the school is in two separate and aging buildings. A new feasibility study shows a future where both schools will come together under one roof.
It is a somewhat unique setup for an elementary school. Two buildings separated by a parking lot. Soon, those two schools will come together under one roof according to Superintendent of Talbot County Schools Kelly Griffith.
"Option C is to build a building that has shared space. You can call it one building, but it really is two schools," Griffith said.
Option A would have called for both schools to be renovated, at a cost of $66 million. Option B calls for the demolition of Dobson, and renovation and expansion of Moton for $63 million. Option C, a demolition of both schools and construction of the new building was selected by the board, priced at $53 million.
"With the existing envelopes now, we're having to have three teachers sharing one room, and those are the kinds of things that are not conducive to learning, so I believe Option C allows for the space to be utilized in the most efficient way," Griffith said.
The building will be so efficient in fact it will be smaller than the two current schools put together.
"We can actually overall reduce the square footage and meet all the educational specifications, and therefore the construction costs are less expensive," said Gayle Secrist, director of support services, and one of the people who has been working on the project for years.
The transition is smoother with Option C as well. Students will remain in the current schools until construction on the new school is completed in late 2019.
"With that being such a popular school and a community school, it's exciting to see that it's going to get that makeover that it deserves and that the kids deserve," Griffith said.
By the request of the community, the names Dobson and Moton will be preserved in the new building. Another key factor in the new school is that parents wanted to see that the two school system remained. The schools will now share a gymnasium and cafeteria, along with other spaces which also helps to reduce that footprint
The construction for a new school is expected to take two and a half years. If the board had gone with an option for renovating the current buildings, that timeline would have been closer to four years and at higher cost in Talbot County.