Calloway Street Becoming New Location for Choices, Community Center
Wicomico Superintendent, Salisbury Mayor Announce Partnership and New Location Where Choices Academy Will Serve the Community
Posted on 06/02/2017

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Donna C. Hanlin and Salisbury Mayor Jacob R. Day are pleased to announce a partnership between Wicomico County Public Schools and the City of Salisbury.  This partnership will result in the relocation of the Choices Academy to a permanent location and the creation of a new community center for youth with after-school recreation programs and health services on the property.

The 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,” Dr. Hanlin said. “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 look forward to jointly hosting a community gathering at the property on Calloway Street this fall to chat with community members and hear their input on plans for the development of the Choices Academy and community center.

“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,” Mayor 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 Choices Academy and community center building on Calloway Street.

“Our youth need afterschool 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.”

Wicomico’s alternative education program was long situated in buildings off Jersey Road that had housed the Wicomico Applied Technology Center. For the past several years, the Choices Academy for alternative education pathways has been located in a modular complex on the site of West Salisbury Elementary School.  With construction of the new West Salisbury Elementary School progressing expeditiously, the Choices buildings must be relocated in order to construct access roads for buses and delivery vehicles going to the new West Salisbury Elementary School.

“This will be a wonderful milestone for the students, staff and families of our Choices Academy,” Board member John Palmer said. “No longer will these students be moved around from place to place. They will have a permanent location with future plans for a new building for the Choices Academy. This will allow for greater flexibility to enhance school environment and will support students who require a smaller, more structured learning atmosphere. With the true dedication of the teachers, administrators and staff that I have observed at Choices, there is no doubt in my mind that this new location will be great for Wicomico County and will serve as a model for similar ‘Choices Academies’ throughout Maryland.”

Relocating, restructuring and reopening the modular buildings will take time. Work to ready the portables will begin in September, once the property acquisition is complete. The goal is to open the Choices Academy on Calloway Street in Salisbury in early 2018. Until then, Choices Academy will be housed on the Wicomico Middle School campus, in the modular building used by the middle school during its recent HVAC renovation project.