Governor grants Clear Spring students' wish

April 28, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

CLEAR SPRING - Four years ago, three students at Clear Spring Elementary School wrote letters to Gov. Parris Glendening urging him to approve money to renovate their school.

On Tuesday, those students, now middle school students, were on hand as Glendening announced that the funding has been approved for the planning stage this year and for renovations and additions next year at the 44-year-old school.

Gereme Leazier, Ashley Keeney and Jamie Teach proudly shook the governor's hand as he arrived Tuesday morning.

"I'm so pleased with the reception by all you folks in Clear Spring," Glendening said as he got a surprise greeting from several members of the Clear Spring High School band, who four years ago were part of his honor guard at his inauguration.

"I can feel the warmth and the pride that you people have in this school," Glendening said.

Glendening announced $4.6 million in school construction money would be available for Washington County for fiscal year 1999, which starts July 1. The Clear Spring Elementary School project is on that list, although the exact amount for that project was not available.


The announcement was made in the combination gymnasium, cafeteria and auditorium, which would no longer be used for all three once the renovations and additions are complete. The project also includes adding air conditioning to the school.

In announcing the money, Glendening said it would just be a matter of signing the paperwork to approve the funds.

Touring the school, Glendening said he wished all legislators could see the music "closet" that for five years has served as the office of the music teacher at the elementary school. "I'm not even sure this room meets code," Glendening said.

Ambitious plan

An ambitious building plan statewide is meant to add additional space and reduce class size in dozens of schools. "We want to eliminate the need for portable classrooms except in emergencies."

The $4.6 million in state funding also includes projects for South Hagerstown High School, Smithsburg High School, Western Heights Middle School, E. Russell Hicks Middle School, Boonsboro High School and Williamsport High School.

Glendening also announced $4.8 million for Allegany County schools and $263,000 for Garrett County Schools.

In the past four years, 215 new classrooms have been built in Washington, Allegany, and Garrett counties.

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