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Task force to present four preferred downtown relocation sites for schools' central offices

February 11, 2013|By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com
  • Parts of Washington County Public Schools' administrative offices at 820 Commonwealth Ave. in Hagerstown date to 1938.
File photo

A task force exploring the possibility of relocating the Washington County Board of Education central offices to downtown Hagerstown will present its four preferred locations in a report at the mayor and city council meeting Tuesday.

The task force gathered needed information from the BOE, evaluated 12 potential sites and then identified four sites as having the “best potential,” City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said in a memo to Mayor David S. Gysberts and the five-member council.

However, the memo does not indicate any specific locations.

The meeting in the council chamber at City Hall is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m., with the task force presentation tentatively set for 4:15 p.m.

Dating to April 2011, city officials received permission from the county BOE to work with a task force established by the Greater Hagerstown Committee, according to Zimmerman’s memo.

During their presentation Tuesday, members of the task force — headed by chairman Tim Henry — will focus on the four preferred locations, each one’s perceived benefits and estimated costs associated with relocating the BOE central offices to each specific location, the memo states.

The task force is comprised of 17 Greater Hagerstown Committee members, plus several city, county and schools officials, Henry said Monday afternoon.

“I think we have done our work and we’re happy to present it,” he said.

In looking at potential locations in the city, the task force also took into consideration: parking for employees and visitors; infrastructure; technology resources; the condition of downtown properties; cost; the proximity of sites to other governmental and educational facilities; and opportunities for this project to support the revitalization of downtown and strengthen the community.

“The task force presentation on Feb. 12 is an important step in the city’s efforts to work toward the relocation of the BOE to downtown,” Zimmerman wrote in his memo. “Future discussions and decisions with the (Washington County Board of Commissioners) and the Board of Education will need to take place as this project proceeds.”

After Tuesday’s initial task force presentation to the city, next Tuesday’s work session meeting on Feb. 19 will include time for the city to share the report with BOE officials, and then present the city’s proposal for moving the BOE central offices downtown.

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