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School board requests $20 million from state

Amended construction projects include addition of Fountain Rock Elementary cafeteria

Amended construction projects include addition of Fountain Rock Elementary cafeteria

September 20, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - Fountain Rock Elementary School might get its cafeteria sooner than anticipated.

Before voting Tuesday night to approve the fiscal year 2008 capital improvement program, the Washington County Board of Education voted to amend the document. The amendment moved up possible funding for the elementary school's cafeteria and other improvements from fiscal year 2013 to fiscal year 2009.

Parent and community groups have been advocating for a cafeteria in the elementary school for years.

The board voted unanimously to amend the capital improvement program, which is a request to the state for about $20 million in funding for new schools, additions and renovations. The amendment included the addition of a request for about $5 million in funding from the county for core facilities improvements at Fountain Rock, which would include a cafeteria. The request would be made in the fiscal year 2009 capital improvement program.

The board voted unanimously to approve the capital improvement program as amended.

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Fountain Rock is the only elementary school in the county without a cafeteria.

"If we did not have the growth we had, we could have addressed projects like (Fountain Rock)," Board Member Roxanne R. Ober said. "All of the new schools push back renovations."

Board Member Bernadette M. Wagner, who initiated the amendment to the capital improvement program, said it was important for the board not to prepare for students not yet in the county's schools at the expense of students already in the system. She was speaking primarily about the funding for four new schools that was placed ahead of Fountain Rock's improvements in the capital improvement program's priority list.

Board Vice President Jacqueline B. Fischer said there were other projects also overlooked, like providing air conditioning in all of the schools.

"I have a hard time putting that above other issues at other schools," she said.

The fiscal year 2008 capital improvement program will now go before state officials. School officials should know by April 2007 how much state funding will be received.

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