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Public meetings set for closings of Winter Street and Conococheague Elementary schools

Officials will also discuss proposed plans for a new "West City" elementary school in Hagerstown

May 15, 2012|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com

Washington County Public Schools will hold two public information meetings this month on the closings of Winter Street and Conococheague Elementary schools, and the proposed plans for a new “West City” elementary school in Hagerstown.

A site for a new West City elementary has not been announced, but a school system official told Washington County Board of Education members during a Tuesday work session that officials were in the final stages of land acquisition.

The school would be built within a “walkable” community, on 15 to 16 acres with lots of green space, said Rob Rollins, director of facilities planning and development.

The county will acquire the land.

If the county enters into a contract for the potential purchase of school land, that contract and the property information would be presented to the Washington County Board of Commissioners during a public meeting. The commissioners would decide at that time whether to take the potential purchase to a public hearing, according to an email from county spokeswoman Sarah Lankford Sprecher.

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The 7 p.m. public information meetings the school system is hosting will be held at Maugansville Elementary School on May 30 and at Pangborn Elementary School on May 31, a school system news release said.

The meetings are being held at those newly built schools rather than at Winter Street or Conococheague Elementary schools because they can accommodate a larger turnout and to give residents a chance to see what a new West City elementary school could look like, Deputy Schools Superintendent Boyd Michael said.

Board member Donna Brightman said she had heard concerns from some Conococheague parents who wanted to ensure that their children would continue to attend Clear Spring middle and high schools once they are in a new West City elementary.

There are no current plans to change the secondary feeder patterns for students attending either Winter Street or Conococheague just because a new West City elementary school was planned, Michael said.

However, enrollment pressures might lead to such a change some day.

He said there might be some possible redistricting when the new West City school opens, or the board might decide to just combine the Winter Street and Conococheague districts into one West City district.

If you go ...

WHAT: Public information meetings about the proposed “West City” Elementary School, and the closings of Winter Street and Conococheague Elementary schools.
WHEN: 7 p.m., May 30, 7 p.m. May 31
WHERE: Maugansville Elementary School, 18023 Maugans Avenue on May 30, and Pangborn Elementary School, 195 Pangborn Blvd., on May 31.
For more information, call Washington County Public Schools at 301-766-2809

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