MILFORD — After closing its doors in 2013, the former Milford Middle School could be revitalized and reworked for new generations of students.
The Milford School Board unanimously approved setting the date for a capital referendum that, if approved by voters, would salvage the historic 1929 Milford Middle School site on Lakeview Avenue and add new structures to “best meet the needs of the 21st century learning environment,” as documents from the board read.
The referendum date is set for Wednesday, Oct. 27.
If approved, the project could begin as early as fall 2022 with the cost phased in over three years beginning in fiscal year 2022. The project received a certificate of necessity in November 2020 from the Delaware Department of Education.
The project carries a $57,270,453 price tag with the state paying for $42,380,185 or 74% of the total cost. The local share (26%) would be $14,890,318.
Site development and design would use about 12% of the total cost for the project. Construction would use about 72% and final preparation, furniture and technology would use 16%.
The project would see a little more than 52,000 square feet of the former middle school demolished and more than 26,000 square feet (the historic part of the school) would remain in place, board documents read.
The school’s new square footage would be 132,910 square feet and be able to serve 1,000 students.
According to documents supplied by the board, all Milford School District facilities are at more than 85% program capacity excluding Morris Early Childhood Center.
The district’s current enrollment has grown to 4,324 during the current school year with 2020 pre-kindergarten to 12th-grade enrollment at 4,301. The 2024 projected enrollment is 4,597. The district’s enrollment is expected to continue to grow as the housing options expand around the city. The district also experienced growth last year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, board documents read.
If approved, the Milford Middle School site would have an open recreation space, a large recreational gymnasium and auditorium.
The reconfigured school would serve students in grades five and six.
In the district’s reconfigured layout, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students would attend Morris Early Childhood Center, students in grades one through four would attend one of the district’s three elementary schools, grades seven and eight would attend Milford Central Academy and grades nine through 12 would attend Milford High School.