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Board divided over school for the arts issues

September 05, 2007|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - As plans for a school for the performing arts in Hagerstown move forward, Washington County Board of Education members appear divided over logistical issues.

During a business meeting Tuesday, Board Member Ruth Anne Callaham said that some members are comfortable with the way the project is moving along, while others want more information and have additional questions.

Board Member Donna Brightman suggested forming an ad hoc committee to handle some issues with the planned high school, which is scheduled to open in 2009.

Board President Roxanne R. Ober said the committee could offer recommendations to the board and discuss details surrounding the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts.

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Members were divided on that idea, with Board Vice President Wayne Ridenour and members William H. Staley and Paul W. Bailey against it. Ober and members Bernadette Wagner and Brightman said they were in favor of the committee. Callaham did not offer an opinion.

"To me, this just seems like another layer that I'm not sure we need," Ridenour said. "And we're (asking) to be efficient. I don't see where you adding layers makes it more efficient."

Bailey said that board members could get the same information during business meetings as they could from the ad hoc committee.

Callaham said she does not want the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts to detract from other important board business.

"We are on the verge of putting an inordinate amount of time into the Barbara Ingram School project," she said.

Board members said it is possible for an ad hoc committee for the school to be formed in the future.

A steering committee for the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts Foundation had its first meeting recently, according to Director of System Development Dale Bannon.

About 12 people attended, and many volunteered to serve on the foundation charged with helping to fund some of the performing arts school's capital and operating expenses. Bannon said there will be an upcoming meeting with a fundraising consultant.

That consultant will let the foundation and other officials know how much money they can expect to raise for the school through a private-public partnership.




Know more in 30 seconds



The issue: A high school for the performing arts is planned to open in Hagerstown in 2009.

What's new: Officials said Tuesday that a steering committee for the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts Foundation had its first meeting. About 12 people attended, and many of them volunteered to serve on the foundation charged with helping to fund some of the performing arts school's capital and operating expenses.

What's next: There will be a meeting with a fundraising consultant, who will let the foundation know how much money it can expect to raise through a private-public partnership.

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