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School building plans approved in Berkeley Co.

September 08, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - The Berkeley County Board of Education Tuesday night approved more than $9 million in new school construction designed to relieve crowded conditions in the school system.

The school board approved a $5.8 million contract to build a new intermediate school along W.Va. 51 east of Gerrardstown, W.Va., and a $3.4 million contract that will include the construction of nine classrooms at Martinsburg High School and renovation of the school's gymnasium.

The $3.4 million contract also includes $249,523 for installation of an elevator in the Berkeley County Schools' central office on South Queen Street, said Superintendent of Schools Manny Arvon.

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The new intermediate school in Gerrardstown, which will be for fourth and fifth grades, is being built to relieve crowding at Mill Creek Intermediate School, said Jaimee Borger, spokeswoman for the school system.

The Gerrardstown school will be built at the intersection of W.Va. 51 and Saw Mill Road, Arvon said.

Site work for the school is done and Arvon said he hopes the school will be completed by August of next year.

W. Harley Miller Contractors Inc., was selected Tuesday night as the general contractor for the project.

Nine classrooms will be added to Martinsburg High School to alleviate crowding at the school along South Queen Street, Borger said.

It will take about 18 months to complete the project, said Arvon.

The general contractor on that project will be Somerset Steel Erection, a Pennsylvania firm, Arvon said.

The elevator to be built at the central office will help make the facility handicapped accessible, school officials said.

School construction is big business in Berkeley County, which saw 3,777 new students between 1990 and 2003. That marked the highest growth rate in the state.

The next closest in terms of growth was Jefferson County with 1,078 new students.

Putnam County, in third, saw enrollment increase by 680 students.

Because of the growth in Berkeley County, the school district is seeing the construction of a new school every year.

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