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Washington Co. school board saying little about North High track problems

August 08, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN -- The Washington County Board of Education is saying little in response to allegations that it was improper planning that led to problems with North Hagerstown High School's new track.

Board Vice President Donna Brightman said officials are working on a resolution, but she could not offer specifics.

The track at Mike Callas Stadium has gone unused since the stadium was built in 2006. Craig Paving Inc. President Roger Craig told The Herald-Mail on Thursday that specifications for the project changed after his company had finished paving the track.

School officials said Thursday that the company was aware of the intent of the project, but did not respond directly to Craig's claims.

Washington County Public Schools is seeking bids to tear up the work done by Craig's company and rebuild the track.

While Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said she was not able to comment fully on the matter, she said, "Staff has been working hard to resolve the issue for the sake of the students."

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Those sentiments were shared by several school board members Friday.

"Right now, my main concern is for resolution of this whole project for the students ... for the children and for the taxpayers," Brightman said.

Board Member William H. Staley said that students, parents and those who donated money to the track are eager for the track to be completed.

"The board's going to work really hard to get it resolved, and we're focused on the kids," Board Member Ruth Anne Callaham said.

The cost of the stadium, including the track, was about $4 million. Almost $1.6 million of the money for the stadium and track is from government sources, The Herald-Mail has reported.

Craig said others have estimated that tearing up the work his company did and rebuilding the track could cost about $750,000.

Board Member Wayne D. Ridenour said he could not comment on the situation.

"Not now," he said. "Really, we can't. There's just so much going on."

Phone calls Friday to board members Paul W. Bailey and Bernadette M. Wagner were not returned. A person who answered the phone Friday at Board President Roxanne R. Ober's home said she was out of town.

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