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Spring Mills high school on track to open in 2012

October 20, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Berkeley County's fourth public high school is on track to be open by the summer of 2012, Superintendent Manny P. Arvon said.

Spring Mills high school's building footprint is expected to resemble that of Musselman High School in Inwood, W.Va., Arvon told members of the Berkeley County Board of Education on Monday evening. He said architects will be talking with school leaders at Musselman.

The new school's construction was made possible when voters last month approved the school board's plan to issue $51.5 million in bonds for four building and renovation projects.

With the bond issue approval in hand, the school district netted another $25 million for the high school project from the West Virginia School Building Authority.

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The school board adopted a resolution Monday that Arvon said was required by the West Virginia attorney general to allow the issuance of the 15-year bonds.

When asked by school board member Patrick Murphy about bond market conditions, Arvon said he thought they looked "pretty good" the last time he checked them.

"The sooner, the better," said school board member Richard A. "Rick" Pill.

Based on an aggressive building schedule, Arvon said construction on the high school could start in 10 months and be finished 24 months later.

"We've had the footprint together for some time," Arvon said.

Following the high school's construction, Arvon said he expects renovation and addition work to start on Martinsburg North Middle School.

School officials hope to net another $20 million from the SBA for the projects, which also include a new middle school near Gerrardstown, W.Va., and an addition at Musselman High.

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