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Wilmington "tops out" new Bancroft School, will be completed fall 2024

 The topping off ceremony signals the completion of the frame of the new school.
Rachel Sawicki
Delaware Public Media
The topping off ceremony signals the completion of the frame of the new school.

State and local officials gathered in Wilmington for a “topping-out” ceremony on a new school on the city’s East side.

The topping-out ceremony signals the completion of the building’s frame. Officials, community members, teachers, and students signed the final beam before it was put in place.

Christina School District Superintendent Dan Shelton says the school will have modern technology, common spaces, and plenty of gym and related arts spaces.

“The building isn’t the school, what happens inside is what the school is," Shelton says. "It’s our teachers and it's our administrators, our staff, and it's our students and families, that’s what makes the school. And this gives them a true testament that there are people that are really working for them.”

Christina School District supervisor of facilities George Wicks says the 160,000 square feet building will serve as an elementary and middle school, replacing the old Bancroft School in 2024.

“And then after we get moved into here to start with students here in September of ‘24, then we will begin to take down the old Bancroft and that will become a play area for athletics," Wicks says. 'There will probably be a couple of basketball courts there for the community and also staff parking over there.”

This will be the first new school in the City of Wilmington in decades, fully funded by state dollars, a total of about $90 million, says Gov. John Carney.

“It’s been a very difficult process, but worth every minute, worth all the challenges because, at the end of the day, it's really about the future of these children and our community and the city at large,” he says.

Carney adds the most critical part of the school’s success will be the teachers at the front of the classroom.

And he says the project is an economic boost, bringing hundreds of jobs to the city, and notes that contractors had some requirements to hire locally.

Rachel Sawicki was born and raised in Camden, Delaware and attended the Caesar Rodney School District. They graduated from the University of Delaware in 2021 with a double degree in Communications and English and as a leader in the Student Television Network, WVUD and The Review.