Overcrowded Delaware City School District To Ask Taxpayers For Help


The Delaware City School District is growing, and district leaders say they are running out of room.

The district's superintendent, Paul Craft, said that a bond issue is the most cost-effective solution to the problem.

Craft said this year the district added approximately 200 students and only three teachers.

At Willis Intermediate, class changes are staggered so students can move through hallways safely.

“They talk about how crowded it is,” parent Trisha Gemberling said. “They talk about now at the elementary, for example, they are doing art on a cart, because they don’t have an art class to go to, so the art teacher comes to their room.”

Craft said that he sees the overcrowding on a daily basis.

“We are trying these techniques to maximize what we do in our space but it is really starting to impact the educational offerings we have,” Craft said.

Late November, Craft asked the school board to consider putting a bond issue on the ballot to fund additions and renovations to current buildings.

Craft's proposal, would cost taxpayers no more than two additional mills. Homeowners would see an increase of about $56 a year per $100,000 of property value. 

According to Craft, under the plan, Willis would house administration as well as alternative and virtual learning programs. Space also would be added to all five of the district’s elementary schools, eliminating the need for modular classrooms.

“It’s as small of a request as we can and still meet the needs we have out there, utilizing our current facilities,” Craft said.

The board will meet Thursday afternoon to vote on whether or not to place the issue on the May 2013 ballot. The board must make its decision by the end of the month to make the board of elections' deadline.

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