Updated July 16, 2015 at 3:22 p.m.

CLARIFICATION: The Garrett County Board of Education requested $1.9 million for the renovation of its Dennett Road maintenance facility in its May Capital Improvement Plan. In June, the county commissioners approved only a  portion of the CIP. On July 14, the school board approved modifications to the facility for use of the Maintenance and Operations staff and storage of equipment and materials. The facility will also serve as a bus inspection site. The board will use carryover funds to cover the $224,500 cost of the project. The building also houses Head Start, Food Nutrition Service, Maintenance Department and Information Technology for the board and the county.

OAKLAND — The Garrett County Board of Education unanimously approved a revised 126-page Educational Facilities Master Plan that includes renovations for Southern Middle School in 2016/2017.

The total cost to renovate the school is $32,582,270, according to a revised 2016 Capital Improvement Project summary approved in May.

The facilities plan approved Tuesday, which includes a facility construction database and a community analysis, had to be submitted to the Maryland Department of Planning by July 1. The state uses the plan to determine the justification of CIP money for the schools, according to William Swift, director of facilities, maintenance, operations and security.

“This year in February, all of our maintenance personnel went out and actually conducted a survey of the schools in their area of expertise. They came back with a rating and any descriptive information of systems in the school that might be deteriorating, need to be replaced or any information about that particular system,” said Swift during the board meeting.

The facilities plan includes an inventory of facilities projects completed within the schools. In 2014- 2015, three Qualified Zone Academy Bonds projects included window replacements at Grantsville Elementary School, a fire alarm replacement at Broad Ford Elementary and an HVAC replacement Southern High School. Another project included a 2013 contract with Earth Security/Skyline Technology Solutions to install an Identicard Access Control System and Airphone IP Video Intercom Systems in 12 schools, the Central Office and Dennett Road facility. The system will allow each school to control access 24 hours a day seven days a week. In 2015, the video recording capabilities were enhanced by installing new DVRs, replacing old cameras and adding new cameras at seven locations.  

The board also approved the Dennett Road maintenance facility plan, which would convert the gym into storage for maintenance equipment. Currently, two buildings on Eighth Street serve as maintenance buildings for the schools. Built in 1950 of wood, the buildings are not in good shape and are not conducive to a good working environment, according to May meeting minutes.

The total cost for the Dennett Road maintenance facility is $1,980,000, according to the 2016 CIP summary.

In 2012, the board voted to close Dennett Road and Kitzmiller elementary schools and to transfer Dennett Road to Garrett County government. Later that year, the board voted to rescind a portion of its vote and retain control and ownership over Dennett Road. There was previous discussion about using the building for a shared (board and county) information technology department and as a satellite food service or as a Head Start for Garrett Community Action.

To view the facilities plan in its entirety click here.

Elaine Blaisdell is a reporter at Cumberland Times-News. To reach her, call/text 240-362-3612, email her at eblaisdell@times-news.com and follow her on Twitter.

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