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NEWS
October 9, 2012
Washington County Public Schools will hold a groundbreaking Oct. 30 for the new Bester Elementary School, according to school system officials. The public groundbreaking is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Workers are installing a fence around the construction site this week, according to an email from Project Manager Traci Coldsmith. The new school will be built behind the existing Bester Elementary School at the corner of South Potomac Street and East Memorial Boulevard in Hagerstown's South End. Crews also are installing sediment controls for the construction process and stabilizing the construction entrance off Mill Street, Coldsmith said.
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NEWS
By ARNOLD S. PLATOU | arnoldp@herald-mail.com | September 22, 2012
For more than a year, some of Washington County's top engineering, planning, purchasing and education specialists had been meeting quietly, trying to determine the best site for a new public school. Late last year, shortly after they revealed their choice to the Washington County Board of Commissioners in a closed-door meeting, they discovered that the property the committee had in closed session urged the commissioners to buy, had been bought just weeks before by a privately owned development company.
NEWS
September 21, 2012
Washington County went to settlement Friday with Hagers Crossing Multifamily LLC for the purchase of 16.5 acres for almost $1.6 million. The signing took place Friday morning, County Attorney John M. Martirano said. The Washington County Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 on Tuesday to give the final go-ahead on the purchase of the land for a planned West City elementary school. David C. Lyles signed the papers for the seller and was listed as a member of the limited liability corporation, Martirano said.
NEWS
By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com | September 21, 2012
Greencastle-Antrim School District met state adequate yearly progress benchmarks for reading and math last school year, but the elementary school did not. Bob Crider, director of educational operations, gave a presentation to the school board Thursday night on the district's AYP results. He said the district as a whole made AYP, but the elementary school is on a warning list due to two subgroups - economically disadvantaged in reading and IEP (Individualized Educational Program)
NEWS
September 19, 2012
Wolfsville Elementary School is closed Wednesday due to a partial power failure that is affecting water and sewer, according to an email release from Frederick County Public Schools spokeswoman Peggy Ballew.
NEWS
By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com | September 19, 2012
The Washington County Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday night to award contracts for the construction of a new Bester Elementary School to firms that were included in a bid package in which the school system requested nonprevailing wages. Work on the new school could begin within a month, once a building permit is secured, Project Manager Traci Coldsmith said after the board meeting. A fence will be erected around the construction site behind the existing Bester Elementary in Hagerstown's South End. The total cost for this part of the project is $18,332,853, which is $2,366,556 less than the package of bids with prevailing wages, which was $20,699,409, according to presentation documents.
NEWS
September 18, 2012
Classes at Shepherd University were suspended for more than two hours Tuesday due to a power outage, the university announced. Power was restored by about 1:30 p.m. University offices remained open. Hedgesville (W.Va.) Elementary School also lost power, causing students to be dismissed at 11 a.m. Afternoon prekindergarten was canceled at the school, according to Leah Daniel, spokeswoman for Berkeley County (W.Va.) Schools. Power was restored to the school at 2:10 p.m., after utility workers replaced a utility pole that caught on fire, Daniel said.
NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | September 18, 2012
A divided Washington County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday voted 3-2 to purchase land for a proposed West City elementary school for nearly $1.6 million, with the disagreement primarily over the cost of the 16.5-acre parcel.  “This is a brutal day for the taxpayers of Washington County,” Commissioners President Terry Baker said before the vote. He was joined by Commissioner Jeffrey Cline in voting against the acquisition of the land from Hagers Crossing Multifamily LLC.  “Nobody is getting three times the assessed value of a property in Washington County,” Baker said.   The assessed value of the property was listed at $496,000, according to real estate records.
NEWS
By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com | September 11, 2012
The Washington County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday morning to transfer $2.1 million in savings from past school capital projects to the Board of Education to use for other capital projects. County Administrator Greg Murray said the school board can decide whether to use the $2.1 million for school construction or systemic projects, which are major maintenance projects such as replacing aging boilers and chillers that supply heat and air conditioning to schools. Deputy Schools Superintendent Boyd Michael said school system staff need to talk to the superintendent, but based on the school system's needs and priorities he anticipates staff will recommend the school board use the money toward building a new Bester Elementary School.
NEWS
By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com | September 4, 2012
The Washington County Board of Education voted 6-0 Tuesday to remove a vote on bids for the construction of a new Bester Elementary School from its agenda, delaying the decision about whether the board will go with nonprevailing wages for the project. Board President Wayne Ridenour said after the meeting that a couple of things need to be reviewed and the board wants to make sure it has all its “ducks in a row before moving forward.” Asked if there were concerns about going with nonprevailing wages for the project, Ridenour said “All our ducks in a row.” Nonprevailing wages are lower than prevailing wages.
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