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South High renovation is over budget

August 11, 1998|By DAVE McMILLION

The cost of renovating South Hagerstown High School could be up to $700,000 more than officials expected, and Washington County officials have earmarked an extra $281,959 to help offset any cost increases for the project.

Officials first estimated the cost of the $13.5 million project using state formulas that were different from those used by the Washington County Board of Education's architects.

Under the state formula, renovations are to be budgeted at $92 per square foot and additions should be budgeted at $103 per square foot.

Local architects said, however, that renovations at South High should be budgeted at $111 per square foot and additions should be budgeted at $112 per square foot.

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If the formula from the architects is used, the cost of the project could increase by up to $700,000, Schools Superintendent Herman G. Bartlett Jr. said during a Tuesday meeting of the school board and the Washington County Commissioners.

To help offset cost increases, the County Commissioners agreed to allow the school board to earmark $281,959 left over from last year's schools budget for the South High renovation.

School officials said another $189,960 saved from renovations of Lincolnshire and Smithsburg elementary schools can go toward the South Hagerstown project.

That leaves a possible shortfall of about $200,000, but Bartlett said he is not going to worry about it until bids are received on the project.

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