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Board OKs specifications for new facility

June 07, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

Plans for a new alternative-education facility for children with emotional and behavioral problems call for Antietam Academy to accommodate as many as 200 middle school and high school students.

The current Antietam Academy is limited because of its size and the fact that it must be divided between two sites. Antietam West at Western Heights Middle School serves students in grades 7 and 8 and a limited number of sixth-graders, while Antietam South in the H-building and two portables at South Hagerstown High School serves high school freshmen and sophomores, according to information provided to the Washington County Board of Education.

The board voted Tuesday to accept the educational specifications for a new facility that would allow Antietam Academy to expand and serve students in grades 6 through 12.

The new facility will provide more alternatives to struggling students and help the school system chisel away at its dropout rate, said Boyd Michael, who officially becomes the school system's superintendent for school operations July 1.

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According to the document approved by the board, the 40,667-square-foot facility would provide room for both the academy and Evening High School.

It could be built on the east side of Washington County Technical High School.

At a cost of more than $10 million, the facility could provide an opportunity to developers interested in helping the school system cope with overcrowding, board member Roxanne R. Ober said. According to projections prepared for a joint meeting Tuesday of the school board and Washington County Commissioners, enrollment at South High will surpass capacity in 2007, while Western Heights will surpass capacity in 2013.

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