Cumberland Times-News

November 15, 2012

BOE needs to be ‘just as flexible’ in school costs, says McKay

Matthew Bieniek
Cumberland Times-News

— CUMBERLAND — Allegany County Commission President Michael McKay on Thursday asked his fellow commissioners to back an additional $1 million to support the construction of the new Allegany High School.

“I stated in the board of education’s meeting Tuesday night (that) I was willing to be flexible with helping in the demolition of the former Sacred Heart Hospital, but the board needed to be just as flexible to keep the total cost of the new Allegany to $13.4 million.’”

Demolition costs for the 500,000 square feet of buildings at the hospital site are estimated at about $2 million, and McKay said if the demolition costs exceed $2 million, the board of education “would be responsible for the difference.”

The demolition work is expected to start next summer.

McKay said an additional $1 million would bring the local contribution toward the project of county commissioners and the board of education to $12.2 million.

The current Allegany High School was built in 1925. The BOE decided to build a new high school after spending more than two years studying how best to reconfigure its secondary schools.

Preliminary estimates show that the county would pay a total of about $13 million toward the estimated $34 million project.

McKay has said the county expects to realize some savings through refinancing debt and would consider directing some of that toward demolition.

The state is expected to provide funding for a large portion of building costs; however, demolition is an “ineligible expense,” according to Vince Montana, facilities director for the Allegany County Board of Education.

McKay read aloud a written memo to his fellow Commissioners Creade Brodie Jr. and Bill Valentine.

McKay asked that commissioners take formal action no later than their next regular business meeting on Nov. 29.

McKay made the request of his colleagues at Thursday’s regular commission meeting at the county office complex on Kelly Road.

Contact Matthew Bieniek at mbieniek@times-news.com.