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South High to open on time, principal says

August 25, 1999

South High repairBy BRUCE HAMILTON / Staff Writer

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer




South Hagerstown High School will open on time, Principal Mike Shockey said Wednesday.

The school's $15 million renovation began in October 1998 and is scheduled to be finished by May 2000. Large portions of the project were done over the summer and the work continued this week.

"I'd just like to assure people we're working diligently to provide a safe and secure environment for the students," said Dennis McGee, director of facilities management for the Washington County Board of Education.

"There will be a classroom for every teacher and student, and we'll be ready."

Crews of 100 to 130 people worked through the 70-day summer break, logging as many as 1,300 person-hours a day, Shockey said.

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"What people don't realize is how much work can get done in a day," said McGee. "People who see a job day to day don't see it."

Returning students won't have to endure the blasting and excavation of last spring. The harder tasks, such as installing wiring, ducts, piping, chillers, boilers and water heaters, are done, according to McGee.

"That's the stuff that takes all the real time," he said. What remains is the mostly cosmetic work of installing floor and ceiling tiles, drywall and other smaller jobs, McGee said.

Work will continue after students return, but construction crews are shifting schedules until after school, from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Students will have some inconveniences, but fewer than last spring, Shockey said. "It will be not nearly as disruptive as it was last year," he said.

The counseling center and cafeteria are ready. Furniture is being installed in the media center. Eight more classrooms will be ready within four weeks, McGee said.

Some teachers won't get into their new quarters until today, Shockey said.

A freshman orientation is being held at the school tonight. "I think the biggest problem will be getting students used to new traffic patterns," he said.

He expects they will become accustomed to the new layout in a few days.

"The school is going to be up and running," said Shockey. "We are working right up to the last minute to get things ready for the kids."

"I think people are going to be really pleased with this place," McGee said.

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