State to nix county school projects

January 03, 1997


Staff Writer

State school officials will recommend funding for only two of five planned construction projects during fiscal year 1998, Washington County school officials were informed Monday, according to Schools Superintendent Wayne F. Gersen.

On Tuesday, Gersen shared the news with members of the Washington County Board of Education and Washington County Commissioners during a joint luncheon meeting at Western Heights Middle School.

"This is good news, but it's not enough," said Gersen, who said the county was promised nearly $1.5 million in state funding to complete renovations at Lincolnshire Elementary School and $256,000 to renovate four science labs at Clear Spring High School.


The county had asked for funding toward planning renovations at South Hagerstown High School, replacing the roof at Smithsburg Middle School and replacing the chilling unit at E. Russell Hick Middle School, he said.

Those projects were recommended for deferral by the staff of the State Interagency Committee (IAC) on School Construction, Gersen said.

The school system will appeal all three decisions at a hearing before the IAC on Dec. 17, Gersen said.

If that fails, he said, they'll appeal to the governor and State Board of Public Works on Jan. 22 in Annapolis.

In the past, the school system has been successful in getting at least one project passed through on appeal, Gersen said.

An initial denial doesn't mean the projects won't make it through, said Dennis McGee, director of facilities management.

"They didn't make the short list," said McGee, who said that nearly $70 million in the IAC's available funding for fiscal year 1998 is still uncommitted.

Commission President Gregory I. Snook promised the County Commissions help in rallying for the funding.

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