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School board gets OK to seek bids for new school

January 24, 2007|by KAREN HANNA

HAGERSTOWN - The Washington County Commissioners voted Tuesday to give the Board of Education approval to begin the bid process for site work at a new Pangborn Elementary School.

Rob Rollins, acting director of facilities planning and development, said site work could begin this spring, after the school system gets approval from the state and the Board of Education selects the winning bid.

William J. Wivell was the lone commissioner to vote against the motion.

With an official enrollment of more than 600 students, Pangborn has a student population that is 129 percent of what the state considers capacity. The new school will be large enough for 745 students, Rollins said.

Assistant Superintendent for School Operations Boyd Michael told the County Commissioners during Tuesday's meeting that the site work bid will include excavation of land for the new school, as well as grounds work after the current building is demolished. Demolition of the building will be bid as a separate project, Michael said.

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School officials expect the site work to cost $1,850,000, and the total project is estimated to cost about $26 million, Michael said.

Commissioner Kristin B. Aleshire said voting against the site work would simply put off the project, forcing the schools to install new portable classrooms on the grounds. There are 11 portable classrooms at the school now.

Michael said projections show area students will quickly fill up the new building, which is scheduled to open in August 2008. The current elementary school will be demolished sometime after the next school year, he said.

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