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Arts school on target to open

December 28, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN -- Construction of the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts is expected to be substantially complete by April, according to Washington County Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Boyd Michael.

He said Principal Michael T. Thorsen and other school staff could begin work in the building on South Potomac Street in Hagerstown at that time. Students could begin using the building about one month later, after some additional work is completed.

Teachers should be able to begin setting up in the school around April 30 -- earlier than the three elementary schools completed this year, Michael said.

The school is expected to open for the 2009-10 school year. The project is expected to cost about $10 million.

Schools spokesman Richard Wright said although construction is behind schedule, the school will open on time.

A fourth floor was added to the renovated historic building and the roof is almost complete, Michael said.

Much of the internal framing of the school's rooms also is complete.

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"The school is really starting to take shape," Michael said.

An elevator shaft has been completed, and a stair tower was built that reaches the fourth floor.

Michael said a lot of the uncertainties in renovating the former Henry's Theater, which was built in 1903, have been discovered.

"You have some interesting discoveries in an old building," he said.

That included the need for a more solid structural foundation, and bringing 100-year-old work up to today's codes.

Much of the framing inside the building also has been completed, and Michael said layout of the school is becoming more clear.

"It's starting to look more like a school," he said.

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