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Eastern Primary location questioned

June 16, 2009|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

For the second time in a month, a community member publicly questioned the decision to build a new Eastern Primary School across from the existing Eastern Elementary off Mount Aetna Road in the eastern part of Hagerstown.

"There is no way this our No. 1 priority for adding elementary level capacity," said David Manganaro of Hagerstown during Tuesday's Washington County Board of Education meeting.

Tom Janus, also of Hagerstown, shared similar concerns earlier this month.

A new Eastern Primary School opening in August 2011 is expected to cost $22.2 million and enroll 620 students in prekindergarten through second grade.

"The line I keep hearing is 'well we already received state funding approval,'" Manganaro said. "That is not a good enough reason to me for us to spend over $20 million building a school in the wrong location at this time."

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With the state facing a large budget deficit, he said officials likely would be open to a change in priorities.

Board President Wayne D. Ridenour said that based on the number of permits for buildable lots, Eastern Primary School is slated for the right part of the county.

"If the economy does turn around, that's the first place (they'll start building)," Ridenour said in an interview following Tuesday's meeting.

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