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Proposal to close Winter Street, Conococheague elementary schools is subject of public hearing

Citizens can share opinions Tuesday

July 16, 2012|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY — A public hearing about Washington County Public Schools’ proposal to close Winter Street and Conococheague elementary schools will be held Tuesday night at the school system’s central office.

The school system is proposing closing the older schools after the 2015-16 school year and opening a new “West City” elementary in August 2016.

This move could affect students at neighboring schools, as the new “West City” school would be large enough to relieve overcrowding at some of those schools. Deputy Schools Superintendent Boyd Michael has said school system officials would recommend the redistricting process begin around early fall 2014, with the board voting on redistricting recommendations in the spring of 2015.

The new “West City” school is proposed to be built in the Hager’s Crossing housing development behind Walmart in Hagerstown’s West End.

The 6:30 p.m. hearing Tuesday is scheduled to last as long as 2 1/2 hours. However, the Board of Education usually ends public hearings much earlier if there is a lack of speakers.

School Board President Wayne Ridenour said it would be up to the school board to decide how long to let the hearing run if there is a lack of speakers. People who want to speak about the issue can sign up ahead of time by calling 301-766-2994 or by going online to www.wcps.k12.md.us/school_board.

Winter Street was built in 1953, and underwent an addition and renovation in 1973. It is a neighborhood school where children either walk to school or are driven to school by a parent or guardian, according to the superintendent’s report that recommends replacing the two elementary schools with a new one.

Conococheague Elementary was built in 1960. It has a well-water system and drinking water is supplied by bottled water, according to the superintendent’s report.

The school board is scheduled to vote on the proposed closings Aug. 7.

More information about the proposal to close Winter Street and Conococheague elementary schools is available at the school system’s website at www.wcps.k12.md.us.

Comments also can be submitted to the school board by calling 301-766-2809; sending an email to info@wcps.k12.md.us or boe@wcps.k12.md.us; delivering them to the central office; or mailing them to Washington County Public Schools Public Information Office, 820 Commonwealth Ave., Hagerstown, MD 21741.

If you go ...

What: Public hearing on the proposal to close Winter Street and Conococheague elementary schools
When: Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Washington County Public Schools central office auditorium, 820 Commonwealth Ave., Hagerstown

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