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School Board hears concerns about planetarium's future

June 18, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

Hagerstown resident Nile Daley, 50, approached the Washington County Board of Education on Tuesday to express his concern about the future of the William M. Brish Planetarium.

He said he was concerned about the decision to take long-time sole planetarium employee Rodney Martin, resource teacher assigned to the planetarium, and place him into the classroom.

Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan told Daley the decision to place Martin in the classroom had nothing to do with his skills at the planetarium, but was due to the budget.

"We have no intention of dismantling the program or discontinuing the program," Morgan said.

Former School Board member B. Marie Byers also expressed concern about the future of the program, which she said she sees as a great asset to the county.

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Morgan said Martin will be replaced with a couple of part-time employees and that all programs currently running through the planetarium will continue.

Morgan said she's heard interest from a retired scientist living in the area who might be interested in working at the center part time.




Bester parking lot included in CIP



The Washington County Board of Education on Tuesday voted 7-0 to include in the school system's fiscal year 2005 Capital Improvement Plan the construction of a $60,000 parking lot and dropoff area to relieve congestion at Bester Elementary School.

The Capital Improvement Plan will be up for approval in October.




$1.2 million approved for reading textbooks



The Washington County Board of Education on Tuesday approved $1.2 million worth of elementary school reading textbooks, which will be purchased over the next two to three fiscal years.

The School Board opted to buy the Houghton Mifflin Core Reading Program, which will be used by students in grades pre-kindergarten through five.

One group of elementary schools used the books during a trial period in the spring and another group of elementary schools tested a different set of books, before the Houghton Mifflin series was selected.




Bids approved for well, floor repairs



The Washington County Board of Education approved four bids at Tuesday night's meeting.

The bids were awarded to:

  • Weyer's Floor Service Inc. of Odenton, Md., to install a new wood flooring system over an existing synthetic urethane floor at Smithsburg Middle School at a cost of $54,574. The project should be completed by Aug. 8, said Dennis McGee, the school system's director of facilities management.

  • ARS Contractors, of Hagerstown, to replace the floor at Northern Middle School at a cost of $26,410. The project should be completed by Aug. 8, McGee said.

  • Callas Contractors Inc. of Hagerstown, to replace Fountain Rock Elementary School's well water treatment system, piping and well building at a cost of $60,000.

  • GRC General Contractor Inc., of Hagerstown, to replace Old Forge Elementary School's well water treatment system, piping and well building at a cost of $59,865.




    Board approves reading of pay policy



    The Washington County Board of Education on Tuesday approved 7-0 the first reading of a policy regarding payroll procedures.

    The proposed policy addresses when staff will get their paychecks and how holidays and inclement weather will be factored into the pay period.

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