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Vision of future includes new campus, schools

June 04, 2002|by SARAH MULLIN

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Berkeley County Schools' superintendent unveiled a vision for the county's schools Monday that included new middle, intermediate and high schools on a sprawling campus complete with several athletic fields.

Superintendent Manny Arvon announced the future site and purchase of property for the new Spring Mills Middle School, which he said will be a part of an educational campus that will consist of an intermediate, a middle and a high school along with numerous athletic fields.

The new middle school will be built within the next 18 months on 20 acres located off W.Va. 11 behind Potomack Intermediate School near Marlowe, W.Va., Arvon said.

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The land was purchased from Bruce Van White for $2,500 an acre, totaling $50,000, he said.

The school is the first of two new schools to be built as part of a $28 million bond passed by county voters last September.

The other school will be an intermediate school in Gerrardstown.

Students from Bedington Elementary and Marlowe Elementary who attend Potomack Intermediate, which serves students from third to fifth grade, will attend the new middle school.

Those students currently go to Hedgesville Middle School after completing the fifth grade at Potomack Intermediate.

Once the new middle school is completed, renovations will be made to Hedgesville Elementary and Tomahawk Elementary to create Hedgesville Primary and Tomahawk Intermediate.

Berkeley County Schools purchased 48 additional acres, which connects to the middle school property, as the future home of the new high school to be built within the next six to nine years, Arvon said.

The plans for the new schools stem from a "vision" of the Comprehensive Education Facility Plan committee organized in 1998 to develop a 10-year plan based on the projected needs of the county's school system.

"The orchards are no longer growing apples, they're growing houses and with that comes more students. Our projection is that we will pick up 3,000 additional students every 10 years," Arvon said.

The committee decided on the development of an educational campus, and the new middle school and high school along with the existing intermediate school comprises that vision.

There is more to the plan.

Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks and Recreation owns 28 acres joining both the middle and high school properties, so Arvon said Berkeley County Schools and Parks and Recreation will create a joint venture to develop a system of athletic fields to be used by both the schools and the county.

"Here is the future," Arvon said.

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