By unanimous vote, the Kent County Board of Education has selected the site for a new middle school.
The Board, acting on the recommendation of Superintendent Dr. Karen Couch, voted Monday, Oct. 9 to build on the Chestertown campus of the current Kent County Middle School.
The decision is the culmination of a multi-year planning and study process to replace the aging Kent County Middle School with a new state-of-the-art facility expected to serve students in grades five through eight.
"My hat's off to Dr. Couch and everyone else who put the work in to do this analysis," said Board of Education President Joseph Goetz in calling for the vote Oct. 9.
A feasibility study was completed this year to aid in the site-selection process. The study reviewed five options for a new middle school, including the current Chestertown campus and Kent County Public Schools' Worton campus, home of the high school.
The middle school campus in Chestertown is located at 402 E. Campus Ave.
"We've been on this bandwagon for quite a while in terms of trying to make a determination about the location of the Kent County Middle School replacement school," Dr. Couch said.
Community input has been an integral part of the planning process for a new middle school. Community listening sessions have been held and online surveys were shared.
Dr. Couch capped off the site selection process by gathering a group of 21 Kent County Public Schools staff members, including teachers and administrators, and parents to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of the Chestertown and Worton sites.
In considering the pros and cons of both sites, Chestertown ultimately received overwhelming support.
"This is arguably going to be the biggest project for the school system and the community, but it is going to be a long-lasting decision that all of us are going to hang our hat on and I wanted to make sure we got it right," Dr. Couch said.
The site selection is an important, but early, step in the process of planning, financing and building a new middle school.
Learn more about the Kent County Middle School project and the ongoing planning process below.