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17 more portable classrooms coming

February 02, 2005|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY - The Washington County Board of Education plans to add 17 portable classrooms to several of its schools next school year, citing increasing enrollments.

Seven of the portable classrooms will be placed at South Hagerstown High School.

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday authorized by a 3-1 vote that the school board spend $1.78 million for the portables.

Commissioners Vice President William J. Wivell cast the dissenting vote, saying he wanted more information on the topic.

Commissioner James F. Kercheval was not at the meeting.

Wivell said the cost of the portables is high enough that the commissioners should have received a presentation on the matter.

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"I'm not a fan of portables, anyhow," Wivell said.

William Blum, the school board's chief operating officer, said the original plan was to spend $1.9 million on portables and place 10 of them at South High. The school board, however, was able to reduce those numbers.

Blum told the commissioners that South High anticipates at least 100 new students next year. The school is now at 106 percent capacity.

According to the school board's Web site, South High's enrollment is 1,153. It's state-rated capacity is 1,111 students.

In addition to the seven portables planned for South High, three will be placed at Funkstown Elementary School, two each at Fountain Rock and Bester elementary schools and one each at Greenbrier and Eastern elementary schools.

One extra portable will be available for wherever it's needed, according to a Jan. 26 memo from Blum to County Administrator Rodney Shoop.

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