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Washington County schools get $1.5 million in state grants

February 19, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WASHINGTON COUNTY - More than $1.5 million in grants for Washington County Public Schools were announced last week.

Soccer field expansions and track improvements were part of 24 projects statewide to receive Project Open Space funds, according to a press release from Gov. Martin O'Malley.

A $466,000 grant was received for the expansion of the soccer field and gymnasium at a replacement school being built for Maugansville Elementary. Improvements to the tracks at Williamsport and Smithsburg high schools will be partially funded with a $93,800 grant, according to the release.

"We're very pleased to get the money that will help pay for the expanded infrastructure that will help with the recreation needs of the county," said Rob Rollins, director of facilities planning and development for Washington County Public Schools.

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A new elementary school under construction, and two replacement elementary schools also being built, are scheduled to open this year with larger gymnasiums that will accommodate community use after school hours, he said.

A $555,965 grant was received for the expansion of the gym at Rockland Woods Elementary, and Pangborn Elementary's gymnasium expansion was partially financed by a $250,000 grant.

Rollins said construction of North Hagerstown High School's new track facility was funded through a $700,000 grant. The grant came in three payments, and the final $150,000 installment was part of Project Open Space funding that was awarded last week.

Improvements to the lighting and electrical system at Keedysville's Taylor Park also will be partially financed with a $55,000 grant, according to the release. The updated outdoor recreational lighting system is designed to be energy-efficient and to minimize light pollution.

Once improvements are made at the park, it has been estimated that it will receive 3,000 visits annually, the release stated.

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