School board clears way for Elk­ton rec cen­ter

De­clares de­sired land as sur­plus

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - IS­SUE By JES­SICA IANNETTA

jian­netta@ce­cil­whig.com

— The Ce­cil County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion unan­i­mously de­clared a por­tion of their Booth Street prop­erty sur­plus on Mon­day, clear­ing another hur­dle in the town’s plan to even­tu­ally build a com­mu­nity cen­ter on the land.

Ce­cil County Pub­lic Schools and the town have been in talks for months to

ELK­TON

work out a deal that would al­low Elk­ton to build a re­cre­ation cen­ter on the un­used field off Stock­ton Street, be­hind the CCPS cen­tral ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fices. In ex­change, Elk­ton would waive the per­mit fees as­so­ci­ated with the build­ing of the new Gilpin Manor Ele­men­tary School on Route 279.

Con­struc­tion of that school, the sys­tem’s first com­pletely new school since 1991, is slated to be­gin later this sum­mer.

With the school board hav­ing now de­clared the land sur­plus, the state su- per­in­ten­dent must ap­prove the res­o­lu­tion be­fore the school-owned prop­erty is turned over to the county. The county would then be able to ne­go­ti­ate the land trans­fer with the town of Elk­ton in ex­change for the per­mit fees be­ing waived, said Perry Wil­lis, CCPS ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of sup­port ser­vices.

Once the re­cre­ation cen­ter is built, it would share park­ing with the CCPS cen­tral ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fices,

since these of­fices are pri­mar­ily used dur­ing the day and most of the re­cre­ation cen­ter’s ac­tiv­i­ties would take place in the late af­ter­noon and evening hours, Wil­lis said.

To fur­ther al­le­vi­ate any traf­fic is­sues, Elk­ton of­fi­cials have also pro­posed adding a road to con­nect the back of the re­cre­ation cen­ter prop­erty to Collins Street, al­low­ing eas­ier ac­cess to High Street, Wil­lis said.

“This is some­thing that the town, I be­lieve, will find ad­van­ta­geous to them, and to us, to take most of the traf­fic off of the Stock­ton Street thor­ough­fare,” he said.

Also on Mon­day night, the school board de­clared the sys­tem’s main­te­nance build­ing, lo­cated on Booth Street just be­fore the en­trance to the CCPS ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fices, as sur­plus prop­erty. With the open­ing of the new Ce­cil County School of Tech­nol­ogy build­ing on Appleton Road last Au­gust, CCPS has be­gun us­ing the old school build­ing in Bay View as its Ad­min­is­tra­tive Ser­vices Cen­ter, and main­te­nance will now be housed there, Wil­lis said.

This piece of prop­erty would fol­low the same process as the re­cre­ation cen­ter prop­erty and, fol­low­ing ap­proval from the state su­per­in­ten­dent, would be turned over to the county, Wil­lis said.

Though there are no con­crete plans, Wil­lis said at a pre­vi­ous meet­ing that nearby Wrights A.M.E. Church had ex­pressed in­ter­est in the land.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

Brian Frymi­are ex­plains to a crowded room at the Ris­ing Sun Amer­i­can Le­gion what he knows so far about the pro­posed broiler op­er­a­tion for a 209-acre farm on Ebenezer Church Road in the Zion area.

MAP COUR­TESY OF CCPS

This map shows the ten­ta­tive pro­posal to ex­change land near Booth Street from Ce­cil County Pub­lic Schools to the town of Elk­ton for the pur­pose of build­ing a com­mu­nity cen­ter.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF CE­CIL COUNTY PUB­LIC SCHOOLS

This ar­chi­tec­tural plan shows the site of a fu­ture Elk­ton rec cen­ter as well as a po­ten­tial ac­cess way along Collins Street.

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