Parents Outraged After Mardela Middle & High School Renovation F - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Parents Outraged After Mardela Middle & High School Renovation Funding Cut From 2020 Budget

Posted: Updated:

WICOMICO COUNTY, Md. - On March 20, Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver said he planned to fully fund Superintendent Donna Hanlin's Imagine 2022 plan in the upcoming budget.  But what parents didn't realize was that gift had a stipulation attached. 

Culver announced at his public hearing for the 2020 operational budget that he would be giving an extra $800,000 to help support increased teacher salaries and universal pre-K. 

Parents are outraged that Executive Culver has decided to cut funding for renovations to Mardela Middle & High School from the 2020 capital improvement budget.  Funding, they say, is long overdue. 

"Our band aids have run out, we cannot provide any more band aids from the school," Mardela Parent and Alumni Shannon Webster said. 

Webster says that the school is overcrowded with nine portables on campus and the resources are outdated.  She says the school does not have proper HVAC systems, efficient space for gym classes and the buses don't have a lane of their own in the parking lot. 

Webster says she's afraid that if the county postpones the funding to 2021, the state will back out on on its millions of dollars in funding as well. 

"If it gets pulled from the capital improvement plan, and then we get pushed down the ladder -- the state is going to reallocate that money that they had potentially had set aside for this project, and then at some point we're going to have to request the money from the state funding again," Webster said. 

But Culver says there is simply not enough money to go around.  He says the Board of Education is asking for an extra $700,000 in the capital budget for the project.  That capital expense would go towards the second set of studies necessary for the state's backing. 

"Next year they're asking for four million dollars. Again, not out of the state. Strictly out of Wicomico County," Culver said. 

Culver says he's concerned about putting that much money into a school he doesn't think will last in it's current state. 

"They're at a septic system over at Mardela. So should we build that school on a septic system for the next 50 years? That won't last. The septic system will not last that long," Culver said. 

But Webster says the main confusion is why the extra monies allocated toward maintenance of effort is the reason behind cuts to the capital budget. 

"That would come out of the operating budget, so the capital improvement plan for the Mardela project should not be affected at all," Webster said. 

In a statement to WBOC on Tuesday, Dr. Hanlin said 

"I was certainly surprised that the money for Mardela Middle and High School renovation planning was removed from this year's county capital budget. However, I've been assured that we are only "pushing the pause button" on the funding, and not nixing the project altogether."

Culver says he hopes to reallocate the Mardela renovation funds in next year's budget or the year after.  He says it is up to the Board of Education to discuss the change with the state. 

Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2019 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices