Cumberland Times-News

Local News

January 15, 2014

Hospital demolition grows near; final plan submitted

Project at site of the new Allegany High must be approved by state committee

CUMBERLAND — Grimm and Parker, architects for the new Allegany High School construction project on Haystack Mountain have submitted a completed plan for the demolition of the former Sacred Heart Hospital for approval with the Interagency on School Construction.

The former hospital is being razed to build a new Allegany High School that officials hope will open in the fall of 2017.

Vince Montana, director of facilities with the Allegany County Board of Education, announced the submission of the plan Tuesday during an update on the new school project at the Allegany County Board of Education’s regular monthly meeting.

“Hopefully within the next few weeks we’ll get an approval back and can proceed with bids for the demolition,” said Montana.

A committee of the state’s Board of Public Works, the Interagency on School Construction must review all school construction projects.

The most recent phase of the project — asbestos removal and mold abatement — have been completed, according to Montana.

The latest meeting of the design committee, which includes two members of the Allegany High School faculty, was held on Dec. 19. Montana said the committee had agreed on one theme for the architects to pursue.

Montana said the architects may have a blueprint ready by next month.

“We expect them to at least have a preliminary schematic design of the building ready to present to the board at our February meeting,” said Montana.

The Board of Public Works will meet to review the approval of funding, which is paid out in phases, on Jan. 22.

The new school design will also have to be reviewed by the Maryland Emergency Management Administration. The administration must review the site plans to approve it as a shelter in the event of large scale emergencies.

In other school board news, future improvement projects are being planned. The BOE is developing plans to renovate the lobbies at Washington and Braddock middle schools. Also, plans for roof replacements are being considered for Washington Middle School and Frost Elementary School.

It was also announced at the board meeting that Mountain Ridge and Fort Hill high schools are two of 46 schools in Maryland to be selected as STEM innovation schools.

STEM is an acronym for science, technology, education and math.

The designation will allow the schools to be eligible for increased resources and programs for development and career readiness in STEM-related areas of study.

The school board also held its annual changing of the guard. The board voted to move board member Laurie Marchini from vice president to president. Marchini will replace Ed Root. Nicholas Hadley was elected to fill Marchini’s vacant seat as vice president.

Greg Larry can be contacted at

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