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School redistricting panel wants suggestions

August 25, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- A committee charged with redistricting a majority of the public elementary schools in Washington County met Tuesday to discuss forums that will be held next month to receive feedback from citizens.

Adam Lewis, co-chairman of the Facilities Enrollment Advisory Committee, said the committee wants to hear rational suggestions at the forums rather than complaints.

"Nobody wants to be shifted around," Lewis said. "If someone has another solution, I'll take it."

Redistricting is being considered to alleviate high student populations at some Washington County Public Schools.

The schools that could be affected are Bester, Boonsboro, Cascade, Conococheague, Eastern, Fountain Rock, Fountaindale, Funkstown Early Learning Center, Greenbrier, Lincolnshire, Maugansville, Old Forge, Pangborn, Paramount, Potomac Heights, Rockland Woods, Salem Avenue, Sharpsburg, Williamsport and Winter Street.

The committee agreed to present its redistricting proposals during the first part of the forum, and to use the second part to accept recommendations from the public.

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Each speaker will be given three minutes.

The public's recommendations will be reviewed by the committee in October and passed on to the Washington County Board of Education, Washington County Public Schools spokesman Richard Wright said. The board will make the final decision at a later date.

Deputy Superintendent Boyd Michael said the forum also will be used to discuss the new Eastern Primary School near the intersection of Mount Aetna Road and Yale Drive.

The total cost of the school will be about $25 million and help alleviate overcrowding in elementary schools throughout Hagerstown, Michael said. The project will be put to bid around Sept. 17.

Eastern Primary will accommodate about 695 students, according to documents. The opening is set for August 2011.

Public forums scheduled



Public forums to discuss school redistricting in Washington County will be held on the following dates:

o Sept. 10, 6:30 p.m., Smithsburg High School

o Sept. 17, 6:30 p.m., Rockland Woods Elementary School

o Sept. 24, 6:30 p.m., Pangborn Elementary School

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