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Plans approved for new Eastern Primary school in Hagerstown

October 08, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN -- Plans for a new $22.2 million primary school across the street from Eastern Elementary School were approved Tuesday.

The Washington County Board of Education voted 5-0 in support of designs for the school that could enroll up to 620 students in prekindergarten through second grade and open in 2011. School Board members Ruth Anne Callaham and Bernadette M. Wagner were absent for the vote.

A new Eastern Primary School is one of five schools, including a new high school in Hagerstown's east end, that are being considered for construction in Washington County over the next six years at a total cost of $158 million. State money for Eastern Primary and other projects will be requested for the 2010 fiscal year.

The designs for Eastern Primary show a single-story, 77,523-square-foot building will be built on about 20 acres off Yale Drive. The design was prepared by Gilbert Architects Inc., based in Owings Mills, Md.

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Rob Rollins, acting executive director for school operations, said the design is similar to three recently completed schools: Maugansville, Pangborn and Rockland Woods elementary.

Robert Spong, facilities planning manager, said the design documents approved by the school board Tuesday will be sent to state and Washington County officials for approval. Spong said he expected comments from county officials concerned about traffic patterns and intersections near Eastern Primary, which is to be built off Mount Aetna Road, near the new Washington County Medical Center site.

Board Vice President Donna Brightman said she'd like to see some flexibility with the design so older children could attend school there in the future if necessary.

Officials said that was possible by expanding on the planned wings of the building.

Preliminary plans call for construction beginning about one year from now and ending in April 2011.

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