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Design services approved for Salem Avenue Elementary

December 15, 2004|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY - The Washington County Board of Education approved a change order Tuesday night for Salem Avenue Elementary's expansion and renovation design to include an additional six classrooms.

Ideally, School Board officials want the six classrooms as well as the renovation and expansion under way to be completed in time for the start of the 2005-2006 school year, Director of Facilities Management Rodney Turnbough said before Tuesday night's School Board meeting. Inclement weather could hamper those efforts.

The estimated cost for the six classrooms, including design and construction, is approximately $1 million, Turnbough said.

On Tuesday night, the School Board approved a change order by a 6-0 vote so the school renovation's current architect, BMGM Architects of Hagerstown, could perform design services for the six classrooms, according to a School Board document.

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The $40,000 for design services will come out of the School Board's general fund, which will be reimbursed with capital improvement funds from Washington County in the upcoming budget year, Turnbough said.

The current $13 million renovation and expansion of Salem Avenue Elementary in Hagerstown's West End includes eight new classrooms, a new gym/cafeteria, a new media center, an updated office area and renovation of existing classrooms, Turnbough said.

The school, which has 343 students, is being expanded to accommodate overcrowding and growth in the school district, said Turnbough and Jo Etta Palkovitz-Brown, executive director for elementary education.

Once the work is complete, Salem Avenue will have room for more than 750 students, said William Blum, the School Board's chief operating officer.

The school has prekindergarten and first through fourth grades now, Palkovitz-Brown said. Salem Avenue's kindergartners are at Marshall Street School and its fifth-graders are at Western Heights Middle School, she said.

School Board officials want to move those students back to Salem Avenue by the start of the 2005-2006 school year, but that depends on how many classrooms are done, Palkovitz-Brown said.

Board member W. Edward Forrest was absent.

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