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Decision due on fate of Maugansville, Conococheague schools

January 23, 2002

Decision due on fate of Maugansville, Conococheague schools



By TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

The Washington County Board of Education plans to discuss the fate of Maugansville and Conococheague elementary schools within a month, and a final decision on whether to close or renovate the schools must be made by Aug. 15, school officials said Tuesday afternoon.

The two schools came up during a meeting with the Washington County Board of Commissioners, during which the School Board asked for a $500,000 increase to its fiscal year 2003-2008 Capital Improvement Plan.

The commissioners contribute $4.5 million a year to the Capital Improvement Plan. The request would bring that amount up to $5 million annually.

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Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said the county would decide whether to grant the $500,000 increase within 30 to 60 days.

"I would say it's probably a reasonable request," he said.

The plan tentatively includes closing Conococheague and building an $11.1 million Maugansville Elementary School. The Conococheague students would be split among the new school and three other schools.

The new consolidated school would be big enough to hold 564 students.

School Board President Edward Forrest said the board would schedule a work session to discuss the schools in a month. Director of Facilities Management Dennis McGee said a final decision is needed by Aug. 15 to meet a state deadline to submit a feasibility study on the proposed project.

"We do have a sense of urgency to make some decision," McGee said.

The state would make a decision on the feasibility study within 30 days after it is submitted, he said. If the plan is approved, the school system would ask the state for the project's planning approval.

Construction on the project would begin in 2004, the Capital Improvement Plan states.

McGee said a new Maugansville school is necessary because the old one is in disrepair. He said on old gym floor has rolled up in the past, a section of the school was flooded with eight inches of water a few years ago and a snowstorm collapsed another section.

"There's nothing on this site worth salvaging," he said.

"We know we need to do something," School Board member Doris Nipps said. "It's a matter of what we need to do."

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