Ground broken for new Pangborn Elementary School



Their new school will boast a 4,200-square-foot gymnasium, soccer fields and an outdoor reading area, but two Pangborn Elementary School students said they are just looking forward to a little cool air.

"Our school doesn't have air conditioning," third-grader Ethan Wilt said.

Construction on a new replacement school for Pangborn Elementary has begun, and the school is set to open in 2008. Ethan said that school, which he will attend as a fifth-grader, will have air conditioning.

Officials broke ground Tuesday morning at the site of the new school, just south of the existing building, which is more than 50 years old.


The new school, an 85,336-square-foot structure, will sit on more than 18 acres and is anticipated to cost about $26 million.

Ethan, and his classmate, Megan Davis, participated in Tuesday's groundbreaking, along with the school's third-grade chorus.

"It's a great day in Hagerstown," said the city's mayor, Robert E. Bruchey II.

The groundbreaking for the new Pangborn Elementary was the third in recent weeks. A new elementary school in the Westfields development and a replacement for Maugansville Elementary also are scheduled to open in 2008.

Washington County Commissioners President John F. Barr, who said he attended Pangborn Elementary in the late 1950s, said Tuesday was a "special day" for the county, and for parents and community groups who worked hard to make sure the new school became a reality for students.

"I'm looking forward to progress in our county," he said. "What a great time in Washington County this is."

Boyd Michael, assistant superintendent for school operations, said he attended Pangborn Elementary in the early 1960s. Del. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington, said he also attended the school.

Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan thanked the community for its support of the building project and said a new Pangborn Elementary is a dream come true for students and parents.

"I'm proud to be standing here to say you're going to get a new school the year after next," she said to the group of third-graders.

Michael said work at the building site has been ongoing, and a sediment pond is nearly complete. He said officials hope to have the area leveled off before the end of May before work on the building will begin.

The existing school will be torn down to construct a bus loop, Michael said.

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