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New school ready to go

August 15, 2004|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

BERKELEY COUNTY, W.VA. - Bigger and smaller make Spring Mills Middle School better, some people said Saturday morning at the school's dedication.

The rooms and cafeteria are bigger than those at Hedgesville Middle School, said incoming eighth-graders Kayla Churchey and Caitlin Sigler.

The class sizes should be smaller, said Sigler's mother, Becki Phillips.

Most of the 430 students starting school at Spring Mills on Aug. 26, including Kayla and Caitlin, went to Hedgesville Middle School last school year, Spring Mills Principal Marc Arvon said after the dedication ceremony. A few students attended Martinsburg North Middle School.

Hedgesville Middle School has been overcrowded for about five years, Arvon said. With Spring Mills Middle School opening, Hedgesville is expected to have about 600 students left, he said.

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The $12.5 million Spring Mills Middle School is the sixth school that Berkeley County Schools has built in the last seven years, said Arvon's brother, Superintendent Manny Arvon.

The school for sixth through eighth grades is the second school built on the Spring Mills Educational Campus off U.S. 11 in the Spring Mills community.

Potomack Intermediate School opened in 1998 and Arvon hopes to have a new high school open on the campus for the 2008-09 school year, he said.

School system officials first need to ask citizens for another bond to partner with West Virginia School Building Authority funds, Arvon said. Arvon estimated the new high school could cost $35 million to $40 million.

Spring Mills Middle School was paid for with $10 million in local funds and $2.5 million from the authority, he said.

By the time school starts, Manny Arvon said the middle school could have 500 students registered. He expects the school to reach its capacity of 750 students in three years, so more classrooms will need to be added.

A big reason for the school's growth is 600 homes being built adjacent to the school, he said.

The new 111,000-square-foot middle school with 54 total classrooms has separate wings for each grade, with two science labs in each wing, Marc Arvon said.

There are five computer labs and more than 220 computers in the school, Arvon said.

Also dedicated Saturday was the school's media center, named the Bruce Van Wyk Learning Center in memory of the late developer, entrepreneur and philanthropist who supported the school system.

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