What's wrong with this picture?

September 05, 2010
  • Windows at the Funkstown School for Early Childhood Education are boarded up, which an anonymous reader fears might be a fire hazard.
Submitted photo,

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The problem: Windows at the Funkstown School for Early Childhood Education are boarded up.

An anonymous reader who sent in a photo of the boarded windows suggested they might be a fire hazard and described the school's appearance as "like a Third-World country."

"I can't believe that (the) Washington County school board would allow something like this," the reader wrote. "If I would rent a house, and the windows were boarded up like this, it wouldn't be allowed."

Who could fix it: Washington County Public Schools

What they say: Rob Rollins, director of facilities planning and development for Washington County Public Schools, said the windows are being replaced as part of a scheduled maintenance project.


The old, single-pane windows are being replaced with more energy-efficient, double-paned ones, Rollins said.

The project was one of the school system's summer maintenance projects, but due to funding availability and other factors, it could not be completed before the school year began, he said. State funding for the project was not available until July 1.

Contractors removed the old windows in July.

"There was some hazardous materials in the glazing compound and the caulking, so we wanted to get rid of as much of that stuff before school started as we could," Rollins said.

The new windows should be delivered toward the end of this month and installed by early October, Rollins said. Other work at the school could continue through the end of October, he said.

A letter to parents dated Aug. 31 described the project and said that all construction activities will take place after school hours.

Rollins said the windows were never a way of egress and all fire-escape routes have been maintained.

"The safety of the students is always taken into consideration with any project, and we work closely with the fire marshal to guarantee fire safety at our schools during regular working conditions and during construction," school system spokesman Richard Wright wrote in an e-mail.

--Compiled by Heather Keels

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