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New Washington County elementary schools expected to open on time

June 18, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Three new elementary schools are expected to be ready for students and staff by Aug. 20, the first day of school for Washington County Public Schools.

All three projects also are at or under budget, said Assistant Superintendent for School Operations Boyd Michael. The county's newest elementary school, Rockland Woods Elementary, is being built south of Hagerstown in the Westfields development along Sharpsburg Pike. Two larger replacement schools for Pangborn and Maugansville elementary schools also are under construction.

During a Washington County Board of Education meeting Tuesday, officials showed pictures of the nearly completed buildings and gave updates on their progress.

Pangborn Elementary is the furthest along, and is expected to be substantially complete by June 30, and finished by July 30, said Traci Coldsmith, project manager. The school's principal and other administrators can already begin working in the school's office.

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The new Pangborn is expected to cost about $23 million and span 18 acres. The 85,336-square-foot building is about twice the size of the existing building and will have capacity for 745 students.

Rockland Woods is expected to be substantially complete by July 8, and finished by Aug. 8, said Michael Whiteley, project manager.

The 84,900-square-foot building, will have capacity for 745 students. About $22.7 million was budgeted for the project.

Like at the other buildings, several inspections are scheduled to be completed at Rockland Woods to make sure the building is ready for students and teachers. Furniture is expected to be delivered to the school July 15, and the building will be open for teachers the following week, Whiteley said.

Maugansville Elementary is expected to be substantially complete by July 11, and finished by Aug. 11.

"That's pretty close to the first day of school," said Board of Education President Roxanne R. Ober.

Administrators are expected to be able to use the building by July 14, said Chad Criswell, project manager. Crews are now working to complete the building's roof and are finishing work on the classrooms.

A paved temporary access road will be used to get to the school until the permanent road is constructed. That road will run through the current Maugansville Elementary School, which will be demolished.

The $21 million Maugansville Elementary will sit on 20.5 acres and have capacity for 735 students. The 91,500-square-foot building is more than twice the size of the existing 38,161-square-foot building.

"We are very excited for the children and the staff and community at these three schools," Michael said.

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