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County to fund work at high school

March 14, 2000

The Washington County Commissioners agreed Tuesday to advance funds designated for fiscal year 2001 to the current budget to pay for rapidly progressing renovations at South Hagerstown High School.

The commissioners made the decision during a joint meeting with the Washington County School Board of Education at Sharpsburg Elementary School.

The South High project is about six months ahead of schedule and $550,000 is needed to pay the contractor, Perini Construction of Hagerstown, said Dennis M. McGee, director of facilities management.

McGee told the commissioners that Perini is owned a total of $1,040,000 and will be paid $100,000 in April and $225,000 in May and in June.

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The balance will be paid with money already budgeted for the first phase of the project, he said.

The 43-year-old school's renovations began in October 1998, but a large portion of the $15 million project was completed last summer.

The first phase included 45 classrooms and a media center.

Work on phase two is expected to begin in July and will include work on the auditorium, the gym and band areas.

Schools Superintendent Herman Bartlett praised McGee's efforts on the project.

"It's wonderful. He (McGee) has managed the project extremely well," Bartlett said.

Running ahead of schedule on a renovation project is unusual, because problems often become apparent only after work has started on an aging building, he said.

- Kimberly Yakowski

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