Maugansville Elementary School the biggest of them all

New school is one of three opening in Washington County this month

New school is one of three opening in Washington County this month

August 11, 2008|By ERIN CUNNIGHAM

MAUGANSVILLE - The 200 children moving from Paramount Elementary to Maugansville Elementary School this year will have at least one familiar face.

Assistant Principal Kathy Forrest has taken the same job at their new school.

Forrest said several Paramount teachers also are moving on to the new, larger Maugansville Elementary, which opens for students Aug. 20.

The new 91,586-square-foot building is more than twice the size of the former school, which still stands about 100 yards from the new building. The school will enroll about 635 students in its first year, but has room for 735.

In addition to the Paramount students who were moved to Maugansville after a yearlong redistricting effort, students from Fountaindale, Salem Avenue and Conococheague elementary schools also will attend. Students who were enrolled at Maugansville Elementary will remain at the school.


Principal Archie Van Norden said Maugansville Elementary will be a mixture of students from many different schools into "one family."

His hope is that the new two-story school will be a welcoming place where students want to learn, he said.

The school

Maugansville is the largest of three new elementary schools opening this month for students. The others include a new, larger replacement school for Pangborn Elementary, and a new Rockland Woods Elementary School, built south of Hagerstown in the Westfields housing development.

Like the other two schools, Maugansville has a security system that is immediately noticeable. Visitors who arrive at the school after the school day has begun cannot enter the school until they are admitted by an office staff member. All visitors must pass through the office before they enter the schools, said Project Manager Chad Criswell.

"It's a way to control who gets in and out," he said.

There also are 11 security cameras in hallways throughout the building that are monitored from the main office, he said. More cameras can be added as needed.

Portions of the school can be locked after hours, so that the public can access the full-sized gymnasium that is intended for some public use. Criswell said the gymnasium is about 7,530 square feet and includes an office and storage space.

The gymnasium is separated from the cafeteria by a moveable partition.

The cafeteria is more than 3,600 square feet, and like the other two new schools includes a stage with modern lighting and sound equipment.

The school's media center is to the right of the main entrance, and includes a computer lab with 30 computers. Van Norden said the library also will have computers with Internet access.

Each of the school's 32 regular classrooms include computer hook-ups with Internet access, and an LCD projector, which is a type of video projector that displays video, images or computer data on a screen for students.

The classrooms have pale yellow walls, while the hallways are lined with ceramic tile. Some of the tiles are green, blue and red. The school also has large columns that are dark red and yellow.

Van Norden said the colors offer an exciting environment for younger students.

"With bright colors like we have it, it creates a happy atmosphere," Criswell said.

Maugansville's school colors will remain blue and white, and its mascot will remain the mustang, he said.

In addition to its regular classrooms, there are also designated classrooms for science, music and art, Van Norden said. Each classroom has its own bathroom, sink and water fountain.

The school, which will enroll kindergartners through fifth-graders in its first year, also has an improved health suite with private exam rooms. There also is a room with a shower, and curtains that can be closed to offer additional privacy in a group exam room.

"This is not typical," Van Norden said.

While prekindergarten will not be offered in the school's first year, there are designated classrooms for those children, which will be used by students with special needs, Forrest said.

Kindergarteners and first-graders will have classes on the first floor, and other grades will be on the school's second floor. Students in first-through-fifth grade will have lockers, Van Norden said.

Remaining work

Construction at Maugansville Elementary has been weeks behind the other two schools that were completed this summer. During a tour of the school last week, work was being completed. Officials said the school will open on time.

However, Van Norden said he has a contingency plan if certain parts of the school are not ready for students. Physical education class might have to be held outside if the gymnasium is not finished.

"We'll be in the building, but there might be some spots that can't be used," Criswell said.

Demolition to the old building is expected to begin this month, and he said a permanent road to the new building will be built where that school now stands.

Criswell said that some bricks from the old school, which was built in 1936, and a sign for the school embedded in the brick, will be used to make a sign that will stand in front of the new building.

About Maugansville Elementary

o Opening for students in August

o Cost about $21 million

o School sits on more than 20 acres

o 91,586-square-foot building

o Capacity for 735 students

o Expected enrollment in first year is 635

o Two-story building

o Will enroll kindergarten through fifth grade in first year

o 32 regular classrooms

o Average class size is between 23 and 24

o Two playground with playsets

o One paved play area

o Two soccer fields

o Dedicated art, science and music rooms

o Computer lab/media classroom with 30 computers

o Bathroom in each classroom

o Full-sized gymnasium with after-hours use

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