Cumberland Times-News


July 14, 2014

Build it now

Auditorium for Allegany won’t get any cheaper

— Anticipated savings from demolition work that will provide ground for a new Allegany High School on Haystack Mountain may allow the addition of an auditorium at the school.

That’s a good thing. It’s hard to think of a school without an auditorium of some kind.

An associate with the architectural firm hired to design the school said the Allegany County Board of Education should put the auditorium back into its base plans, rather than relegating it to alternate bid status.

As it is, ballfields, tennis courts and several classrooms may have to be eliminated to keep costs within line.

Time was, schools had auditorium facilities that (even when combined with basketball courts) provided adequate seating for the entire student body. Some newer schools cannot seat all of their students at once and are forced to hold multiple commencements and other exercises.

Whether that will be the case at the new Allegany remains to be seen, as does the ultimate cost of the school.

Scott Esbach of Grimm and Parker, the architects, said, “It will never be less expensive (to add the auditorium) than now. It will be more expensive down the road.”

File that under the category of Truer Things Have Never Been Said.

Long, long ago, the state of Maryland allocated the Board of Education enough money to build a new Allegany High School in Cresaptown.

Allegany and Fort Hill high schools in Cumberland have long been the source of a rivalry that goes beyond the athletic field. Construction of a new school would have led to redistricting that sent students to a school they would not otherwise attend. Therefore, the idea met with enough resistance that the money lay unused for years.

Rampant inflation in the late 1970s and early 1980s, coupled with increasing construction costs, reduced that money to a fraction of its initial value. When 30 years or so ago the state told the school board to either spend the money or give it back, there was no longer enough to build a new high school.

Considerable debate ensued, and it was acrimonious. Ultimately, the board decided to take the money and remodel the existing Allegany.

Unfortunately, the money was insufficient to do a proper job of remodeling Allegany, which is part of the reason it now must be replaced.

Money was available during better times to do a good job of remodeling Fort Hill High School, where, ironically, a community meeting was held to discuss the future of Allegany High School.

Fort Hill’s auditorium was then, and still is, big enough to do what ever needs to be done there.

Text Only
  • Get involved Get involved

    Cumberland residents who want to make an impact on their community have an opportunity in that the city is seeking applicants for five of its boards.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • If we don’t sell it to them, somebody else will

    The front page article on coal exports by AP writer Dina Cappiello is one of the most asinine and biased “news” articles I’ve read (“Not in my backyard: U.S. sending dirty coal abroad,” July 29 Times-News, Page 1A).

    July 30, 2014

  • Not a villain Not a villain

    Time was that we looked for heroes. Heroes of the make-believe variety have sold a lot of comic books. We also had real-life heroes like Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, whose deaths the whole nation mourned.
    These days, we seem to be more interested in looking for villains. “Vote for me because I’m the good guy” has taken a back seat to “Don’t vote for him, because he’s the bad guy.”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • About time About time

    Although many Cumberland streets are in need of repair and improvements, the decision by city and county officials to address Greene Street is a good one.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where is it?

    Once upon a time, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce held its annual conventions at the Bedford Springs resort hotel near Bedford, which is in Pennsylvania.

    July 28, 2014

  • Korean War Korean War

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sloppy lawmaking is to blame

    July 27, 2014

  • C-minus grade C-minus grade

    If a survey conducted by and the Kaufman Foundation is an accurate portrayal, Maryland has a long way to go to become a business-friendly state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big loophole Big loophole

    How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo