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Pangborn permit received

students allowed to enter new school

August 20, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN -- An occupancy permit for students to go inside Pangborn Elementary School was received Tuesday about 3:50 p.m. - less than 24 hours before school began for students today.

Michael Heyser, chief code official for the City of Hagerstown, said it's not unusual for such permits to be received at the last minute.

As of Monday, the new Pangborn Elementary building had a permit allowing only school staff inside. The permit issued Tuesday is a temporary one, which Heyser said will become permanent when all aspects of construction are complete.

That includes a bus loop at the school not expected to be done until Aug. 25.

Deputy Superintendent Boyd Michael said during a public business meeting Tuesday that officials were not concerned about receiving the permit and "this was exactly what we expected."

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Heyser said many issues were addressed Tuesday, most having to do with a partition that prevents fire from spreading throughout the school. He said an engineer inspected it and approved it, and that paperwork was filed Tuesday, allowing the temporary occupancy permit for the school.

"There really was nothing last minute in regards to construction itself," Heyser said.

He said Monday that the design of the fire partition was changed, delaying completion. Heyser said in an interview Tuesday that steel truss was in the way of the partition and a modification was necessary to accommodate the obstruction.

"It was impeding their ability to construct the wall as designed," Heyser said. "The engineer designed an alternate method, and that was followed."

He said that students will have access to all areas of the building today.

Pangborn Elementary is one of three new schools opening today in Washington County. The others are Rockland Woods and Maugansville elementary schools.

Rockland Woods Elementary also has a temporary occupancy permit allowing students in all areas of the building. Maugansville Elementary has a temporary occupancy permit that allows students in all areas of the school except for the gymnasium.

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