Carper, USDA unveil $7.6M loan for future Sussex Montessori School

The former Wheaton property on the west side of Seaford is the location for Sussex Montessori School, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2020 initially as a K-3 school. (Delaware State News/Glenn Rolfe)

SEAFORD – A crucial financial step was taken Monday in making the future Sussex Montessori School a reality.

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del, joined United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development State Director Denise Lovelady, state and local representatives to announce a $7.6 million USDA Rural Development loan to the future Montessori School.

USDA’s investment will be used to fund the site acquisition and renovations needed to transform the old Wheaton Farm property, including the historic barn and farmhouse, into a Montessori charter school serving children in kindergarten through grade six.

“We are so grateful for USDA and PNC Bank and their financial support of this incredible vision,” said Lisa Coldiron, who was recently hired as Sussex Montessori’s head of school. “We are very excited about building a beautiful, inviting campus for our families, and we want all Delaware families to know that they are welcomed here, and we are committed to helping our children become great leaders in our community.”

Last year, Delaware’s congressional delegation of U.S. Sens. Carper, Chris Coons and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, all D-Del., wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Education in support of the school’s creation,

“This USDA loan is a crucial next step crucial to help this public charter school become a reality,” said Sen. Carper. “The work that the volunteers, supporters and leadership of Sussex Montessori School are doing now will help families in Western Sussex for generations to come.”

“I applaud the efforts of the USDA Delaware and Maryland office and the leaders and volunteers of the Sussex Montessori School in securing this significant loan,” said Sen. Coons. “This investment will go a long way to provide new and exciting educational opportunities for students in Sussex County.”

“I’m so grateful to the USDA and to all of the stakeholders of Sussex Montessori School for making today a reality,” said Rep. Blunt Rochester. “Western Sussex County will now have additional education options, ensuring that more Delaware students continue to learn and grow.”

Site improvements also include renovations to water, sewer and electric utilities, as well as stormwater management, roadways and parking areas. The school will be located along Stein Highway on Seaford’s western edge.

“The Sussex Montessori Charter School will be a critical addition to the Sussex County public school system,” said Ms. Lovelady.

“Together with Montessori Works Inc., and Sussex Montessori School, Inc., the USDA will bring to fruition a premier education structure that will empower dedicated teachers to shape young minds with excellence. Investing in future generations is a core value of our organization.”

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