by Terry Rogers
On Monday, November 19, the Milford School District Board of Education voted in support of a committee recommendation to use the former Milford Middle School property on Lakeview Avenue for educational purposes. Bill Strickland, Chairman of the committee, along with Bob Voshell, a committee member, presented the decision to the board.
“The Milford Middle School committee held three meetings,” Strickland said. “During those meetings, we had considerable input from the public. On our final meeting, the committee voted unanimously to put a school on the Lakeview site. This was the first phase of this project, to decide what we wanted on the site and tonight, I am pleased to present our decision to the board. We are seeking the board’s support in moving forward with the technical assessment phase to determine the feasibility and viability of this site.”
School board member David Vezmar asked Strickland what the feel of the community was regarding the type of school to be placed on the site. Strickland explained that the committee decided to use the term school in very general terms. The committee felt that until the second phase could be completed, it would be difficult to pinpoint exactly what type of school should be placed on the site. He told the board that there were many suggestions, including partnering with higher education to offer adult classes in the building.
“I was very pleased at the public turnout,” Voshell said. “People who came to the meetings made excellent comments and suggestions. They came back to us with different ideas for the property, but it seemed unanimous that everyone wanted it to remain an educational facility.”
The 4-0 vote means that the board will now move forward with the technical phase of the project. The second phase will be led by Garrett Grier and that committee will gather information regarding the costs for rehabilitating or demolishing the former Middle School building as well as the feasibility of placing a school on the property. Superintendent Kevin Dickerson believes it will be several months before another meeting is scheduled as Grier’s committee gathers reports and other data to help make an informed decision.
“I want to thank you guys for the work you put into this,” Vezmar said. “I know that I, along with the rest of the board, appreciate the time and effort you put into helping come to this decision. I know it wasn’t an easy task.”
Dr. Dickerson thanked the many members of the public for coming out to the meetings, reminding everyone that there needed to be continued support through the next phase of the project.
“The next phase will require a lot more work,” Dr. Dickerson said. “We are anticipating that the next phase will be completed around February or March of next year. This will completely depend on how long it takes to get reports back regarding feasibility, cost and other analyses.”