Cumberland Times-News

Latest news

October 12, 2013

Design committee determines future needs of Allegany

New high school should last for 50 years

CUMBERLAND — The design of the new Allegany High School, which plans call for to open on Haystack Mountain in the fall of 2017, is attempting to take into consideration changes in technology and education that will be occurring 50 years into the future.

“We have to keep in mind we are designing the school for the future and not the past,” said Larry Jackson, Allegany High School band director.

Jackson, along with language arts teacher Sally Buser, are the two Allegany faculty members who have been invited to participate in what’s known as the design committee.

In addition to Jackson and Buser, the design committee is made up of individuals from Grimm and Parker, the Calverton-based architects of the new school, and members and staff of the Allegany County Board of Education.

The architects and board members sought to add the perspective of Allegany High faculty members to the process.

“Grimm and Parker are really bending over backward to get input from staff and faculty,” said Buser.

An update on the design committee and their activities was a topic of discussion at the Oct. 8 regular meeting of the BOE.

While the old Sacred Heart Hospital site is being prepared for demolition to make way for the new school, the design of the new Allegany has been moving forward.

“We are designing a school to last for at least 50 years,” said Jackson.

As part of the process, the design committee, including Jackson and Buser, visited two new schools on Sept. 26 to see how they were designed. The committee visited The Carver Center for Arts and Technology in Towson and Aberdeen High School in Aberdeen.

“It was a great opportunity. We went during the school day so that our teachers could talk to the teachers who went through the process we are going through,” said David Cox, superintendent of schools and a design committee member.

The new Allegany is going to be designed for a student population of 800. The challenge for the committee is to anticipate the future needs of students and faculty.

Rapidly changing technology has brought into question the size and functionality of future libraries, computer labs and more. With the increasing use of tablet computing, the very need for a library and computer lab has been in question.

“You have to ask what a media center will mean, and will computer labs be needed? What will lockers look like?,” said Jackson.

Jackson said textbooks may be on a tablet in the future that can be updated whenever necessary.

“I remember when smart boards were the thing. Overhead projectors were also considered a must. Now they have smart walls that can bring up videos,” said Jackson.

What everyone agreed on was that future schools and their space must be flexible and adaptable.

“We also learned about the best use of corridor space and the importance of natural light,” said Buser.

Laurie Marchini, a BOE and design committee member, liked what she saw at Aberdeen High School.

“Aberdeen was more of a main street school which was more appealing to us,” said Marchini.

Marchini said Aberdeen placed the cafeteria, gym and auditorium all adjacent to each other so they could serve visitors for any type of event while closing the rest of the school off with ease.

Security is also an important topic for schools of the future.

“You have to think of what students will be dealing with years down the line,” said Marchini.

The design committee is expected to meet next at Allegany on Oct. 29 to work with design models known as charettes.

“Charettes are an intense period of design using circular and square models to come up with ideas,” said Vince Montana, a design team member and director of facilities for the board.

Greg Larry can be contacted at

Text Only
Latest news
  • Sheriff warns of scams targeting taxpayers

    CUMBERLAND — Allegany County Sheriff Craig Robertson cautioned residents Thursday to be aware of continuing telephone scams that are targeting taxpayers.

    April 17, 2014

  • DSC_0446.JPG Oakland returns to normal after tanker accident

    OAKLAND — Nearly 12 hours after a propane tanker overturned in the heart of its business district, the town of Oakland returned to normal early Wednesday night.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • New River Gorge bald eagle dies from injuries

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A female bald eagle that nested in the New River Gorge has died from injuries suffered last month when she was hit by a train and later by a vehicle.

    April 17, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

    April 17, 2014

  • Park Service opens Canal Classrooms Park Service opens Canal Classrooms

    CUMBERLAND – The National Park Service held a ribbon-cutting event Wednesday for a new program called Canal Classrooms, which will offer students pre-K through fifth grade accredited classwork on the Canal Place grounds.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • City, county officials to talk baseball at work session

    CUMBERLAND — During today’s Allegany County Commission work session, a proposal to study the possibility of bringing a professional-level baseball team to the area will be vetted again, this time with participants from the city of Cumberland.

    April 17, 2014

  • EversolCody004.jpg Cody Eversole named Kelley Award winner

    KEYSER, W.Va. — Keyser High School senior Cody Eversole was named this year’s J. Edward Kelley Award winner during a ceremony Wednesday morning at Potomac State College.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0464.JPG Cranes set up to remove overturned fuel tanker in Oakland

    OAKLAND — Two large cranes were being set up early Wednesday afternoon in downtown Oakland to remove a fuel tanker that overturned several hours earlier and forced evacuation of the business district.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Students support renovation of Southern Middle School

    OAKLAND — Students from both Southern and Northern middle schools presented a list of reasons why Southern Middle needs to be renovated during the Garrett County Commission meeting Tuesday.

    April 16, 2014

  • Oakland business district evacuated after tanker overturns

    OAKLAND — The town of Oakland business district was evacuated Wednesday when a tanker carrying 10,000 gallons of liquid propane overturned at Oak and Third streets at about 9:35 a.m., according to Garrett County officials.

    April 16, 2014