Nipps says county tardy on funds for South

September 19, 1997


Staff Writer

A Washington County Board of Education member said she is upset that the Washington County Commissioners have not acted on a proposal to give the school board a $1 million advance for the renovation of South Hagerstown High School.

School board member Doris J. Nipps said the commissioners have been saying since late August that they expect to be able to give the school board the $1 million.

But the commissioners "have continued to put off the final vote," said Nipps.

Commissioner James R. Wade said he does not believe giving the school board the $1 million early will be a problem, but the school board will have to agree to a longer budget plan.


The renovation of South High will cost $13.2 million. The Washington County Commissioners are expected to pay $5.7 million of the cost and the Maryland Inter-Agency Commission is to chip in $7.5 million, officials said.

The commissioners are expected to pay their $5.7 million share over a six-year period beginning at the time of construction, which is to begin next summer, said Commissioner Ronald L. Bowers.

But school officials are asking for $1 million of the money now, saying the extra money could also speed up the scheduled renovation of Clear Spring Elementary School.

Turning over the $1 million now also could avoid the need for costly temporary classrooms at South High while renovations are being completed, said Dennis McGee, director of facilities management for schools.

Bowers said he thinks the commissioners should have approved the request two weeks ago.

Wade said the board needs to agree to a longer budget plan to get the money.

Wade said he wants the Board of Education to switch from a one-year to a three-year budget plan, which will help the county better plan for the schools' funding needs.

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