Delaware City Council unanimously approved plans for adding a wing to Dempsey Middle School at its meeting on Jan. 27, held at the school.
“Under the proposed plan, Dempsey will accommodate students in grades 6-8,” states materials provided by Delaware City Schools. “Sixth-grade students will be located in a separate wing, making for a smooth transition from elementary to middle school.”
Council’s Fact Sheet said the addition would encompass 50,705 square feet, which includes a new gymnasium, restrooms and 27 classrooms for the sixth grade.
The improvements would include a 20-percent increase in parking spaces, and modifying access on Pennsylvania Avenue and Troy Road. Access to Pennsylvania would be changed from a full movement curb cut to two inbound lanes and a left-hand turn lane into the school. On Troy, there would be a new right-in, right-out, left-out access point.
In addition, Superintendent Paul Craft said that “staggering Dempsey and Hayes’ (the nearby high school) start times will significantly improve traffic.”
Planning Director Dave Efland said the improvements would include better emergency access to the stadium.
According to a project schedule, construction could begin this May, and end in June 2015. Dempsey was first constructed in 1954, remodeled in 2000, and currently covers 180,255 square feet.
The addition and improvements will be funded by a 3.6-mill levy and $50,000,000 in bonds, which voters approved with 60 percent of the vote in a special election on May 7, 2013.
“Thanks for getting the levy passed,” Efland told the Delaware City School Board of Education. “You can’t have a good community without good schools.”
The ordinance was passed on first reading. Previously, the plans were unanimously approved by the Planning Commission on Jan. 15.