County proposes $15.8 million for school projects

February 16, 2005|by TARA REILLY

WASHINGTON COUNTY - The Washington County Board of Education would receive nearly $9 million less than what it requested from the County Commissioners for school construction projects in the next fiscal year, according to the county's tentative $59.6 million capital budget.

In November, the school board asked for $24.6 million for construction projects from the commissioners, but the county has proposed giving it $15.8 million for fiscal year 2006.

The new fiscal year begins July 1.

The commissioners discussed the proposed capital budget at Tuesday's meeting.

The spending plan also includes money for county government and Hagerstown Community College construction projects.

Included in the tentative $15.8 million allocation to the school board is $6.4 million for the new Maugansville Elementary School, $4.4 million toward the construction of Westfields Elementary School, $2 million for the addition/renovation of Pangborn Elementary School and $1.7 million for portable classrooms.


Westfields has been proposed for construction in the development of the same name off Sharpsburg Pike. The development will consist of approximately 770 housing units and be built over the next five years, according to the capital budget.

School board President Paul W. Bailey said the commissioners should be commended for their insight. "I think that is a good beginning, a good start to a big problem," he said.

"I would have to say the commissioners, I believe, are taking the enrollment surge quite seriously and deserve credit for stepping up to the plate," Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said.

The money for the school board would come from several funding sources, including $9.3 million from the schools portion of the excise tax, $4.9 million in state funding and $375,419 from the transfer tax, according to the proposed fiscal year 2006 construction budget.

HCC would receive $2.1 million from the county and $1.1 from the state for renovations to and an expansion of the 40-year-old Career Programs Building, according to the budget document.

HCC spokeswoman Beth Stull said by phone after the meeting that the tentative allocation from the county was the amount the college had requested.

The county's fiscal year 2006 capital budget is part of a tentative six-year Capital Improvement Program - which runs through 2011 - and is set at $435.5 million.

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