School board briefs

June 22, 2005|by KAREN HANNA

Update provided on new elementary school

Washington County Public Schools officials filled the Washington County Commissioners in on details of the plans for a new Maugansville Elementary School during a joint meeting Tuesday morning.

Rodney Turnbough, director of facilities management, said Bushey Feight Morin Architects Inc., a Hagerstown firm, is preparing design documents for the 730-student-capacity building.

The designs so far are on time and on budget, Turnbough said.

"We received a cost estimate, and it looks good compared to the budgeted number," he said.

Turnbough, who spoke after the joint meeting by phone, said the $20 million building will include room for five classes at every grade level. It initially was projected as a four-round building, Turnbough said.

According to Turnbough, 578 students are projected to attend school at the new building when it opens in the 2007-08 school year. The new building will house students from the current Maugansville school and Conococheague Elementary School, which the board has slated to close, Turnbough said.


The school system will begin soliciting bids for the construction of Westfields Elementary School and the renovation or replacement of Pangborn Elementary School next month, Turnbough said.

Academy's move to cost more than $300,000

Antietam Academy's partial move to Western Heights Middle School will cost Washington County Public Schools more than $300,000 in renovations.

The Washington County Board of Education voted Tuesday night to approve a bid for $304,500 to add partitions for five classrooms at the middle school to make way for Antietam Academy.

According to Rodney Turnbough, director of facilities management, about 10 classrooms at Western Heights will be used for Antietam Academy, which serves students who have behavioral or academic problems.

The board in March agreed to send middle school Antietam Academy students to Western Heights to relieve overcrowding at South Hagerstown High School. Antietam Academy's high school classes will continue at South High.

The middle school and academy would have separate entrances and identities, school officials have said.

Turnbough said Tuesday afternoon that the school system's capital improvement program calls for a separate Antietam Academy to open in the 2011-12 school year. The design phase of that building would begin in 2009, Turnbough said.

Committee explores ways to handle area's growth

The State of Maryland is becoming more accepting of Washington County Public Schools' enrollment projections, Leslie LeBlanc, chair of the system's facilities and enrollment advisory committee, said Tuesday.

LeBlanc said because of concerns about growing enrollment, the committee is planning to meet more often.

LeBlanc, a parent volunteer, said the committee is looking into ways the community could use school facilities. Some ideas include making the new Maugansville Elementary School's gymnasium large enough for adult use and building clinic space at the new Pangborn Elementary School to share with the Washington County Health Department.

The Maugansville building is projected to open in 2007, Rodney Turnbough, director of facilities management, said Tuesday afternoon.

According to Turnbough, the board has not yet decided whether to renovate or replace the current Pangborn building.

School officials have said their enrollment projections show rapid growth, while the state, which relies on historical data, has forecast flat enrollment.

Theater books being introduced this fall

Washington County Public Schools' first standardized theater books will hit the schools this fall.

The board voted Tuesday to spend $12,666 for Theater I and Theater II books.

According to Rob Hovermale, instructional coordinator of visual and performing arts, the books represent the first time the system has attempted to use a standard curriculum for the courses.

Two parents named to advisory council

The Washington County Board of Education has named two more people to the Citizen's Advisory Council.

The board agreed to Michael Markoe's nominations of Adam Lewis, a Fountain Rock Elementary School parent, who works as an assessor supervisor with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation, and Melissa McCeny, a mother of two and instructor at Montgomery College.

Markoe is the director of student services and special education, and the liaison to the CAC.

Lucas appointed to enrichment post

The Washington County Board of Education agreed Tuesday night to appoint Jeffrey P. Lucas as supervisor of enrichment and career technology education.

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