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Plans for 'West City' school shown to public

The Washington County Board of Education has not made any decisions on the design of the school to be located in Hager's Crossing

July 16, 2013|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com
  • Aaron K. House, project architect for Bushey, Feight, Morin Architects Inc., showed possible designs for "West City" elementary school Tuesday night at Salem Avenue Elementary School.
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

Only a handful of people showed up at a public meeting Tuesday evening at Salem Avenue Elementary school to hear the latest details about the possible design of a  proposed new “West City” elementary school in Hagerstown.

Aaron K. House, project architect for Bushey, Feight, Morin Architects Inc., showed possible designs for a secured vestibule, gymnasium and cafeteria, an instructional resource area and classroom space for the school to be located in the Hager’s Crossing development in the city’s West End.

Possible design plans call for the school’s bus and car loops to be separate to create a safe vehicle environment, House said. The school would also have a LEED- certification level of silver, he said.

LEED-certified buildings use designs that have lower environmental impact. House said it is possible that the LEED characteristics could be blended into the school’s curriculum as way to incorporate green concepts into learning that would be more than “recycling bins in the corner.”

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Brenda Repp, one of the residents attending the meeting, said her granddaughter attends Winter Street Elementary School. She said it was her understanding that West City elementary was being built to replace Winter Street Elementary School and Conococheague Elementary, which are to be closed.

Although she said possible design plans for a West City elementary are “wonderful,” Repp said she is concerned about possible school redistricting plans that could affect where her granddaughter attends school.

The Washington County Board of Education has not made any decisions on the design of a West City elementary, and officials at the meeting emphasized that none of the school’s preliminary design elements is set in stone.

“This will change and change and change,” House said.

The secured vestibule would be where visitors enter the school, which would be as far as they could go into the building, House said.

“Everything else gets locked down,” he said.

Current plans call for the gymnasium and cafeteria to be in a part of the school that would allow people to enter those areas after school hours without having to enter other parts of school, House said.

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