New Choices Academy, Community Center Coming to Salisbury

City and Wicomico public school officials have made a deal to relocate their alternative school and partner for a new community center.

Superintendent of Schools Donna Hanlin and Salisbury Mayor Jake Day announced the partnership between Wicomico County Public Schools and the City of Salisbury on Friday evening.

This partnership will result in the relocation of the Choices Academy to a permanent site and the creation of a new community center for youth with after-school recreation programs and health services on the property, officials said.

Wicomico County Public Schools and the city of Salisbury worked together to select the property on Calloway Street as the ideal location for the Choices Academy and community center. The Board of Education has a signed contract on the 3-acre parcel. Settlement should take place in early September.

“The new Calloway Street location for the Choices Academy is a win for everyone — the city, the county, the community and the school system,” Hanlin said in a news release. “We’re excited to partner with Mayor Day and the City of Salisbury on a shared vision to construct a permanent building to house both the Choices Academy and a future community center.”

The school system and city of Salisbury will jointly host a community gathering at the property on Calloway Street this fall to chat with community members and hear their input on the plan.

“We’re proud to partner with the Wicomico County Board of Education and Wicomico County Public Schools to create an environment within which Choices Academy students can have their needs met — a place where they will have their best chance at being successful,” Day said. “By making the community center a part of this project, we are ensuring that students have options not just during the school day, but after-hours as well.”

Site work on the Calloway Street lot will begin early next week in preparation for the relocation of two large modular classroom buildings to the site to house Choices Academy until a permanent building is constructed on the site. The organizations that currently provide after-school recreation programs and health services on the property will be able to continue to do so. They will be part of the conversation as plans are made for a permanent facility on Calloway Street.

“Our youth need after-school programs in their neighborhoods”, said Jermichael Mitchel, co-founder of KIDZ R.O.C. (Reaching our Children) after-school program. “The city, county and school officials are working hand in hand to ensure that all youth are prepared not only for school, but to further themselves and be ready for life beyond high school. Teamwork is a must for success.”

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