Whether the town’s board of
commissioners likes it or not, Thurmont Primary School is
At a recent meeting, board members
lamented news that a "portable" classroom the
modular units that pop up around overcrowded schools is coming
to the primary school. They questioned whether the Frederick
County school system could move some classes to Thurmont
Elementary until the primary school gets a scheduled addition.
Ray Barnes, the system’s executive
director of facilities services, quashed those notions Tuesday
night. At the commissioners’ meeting, he said Thurmont
Elementary doesn’t have as much room as statistics indicate
and that moving classes was more complex than it may seem.
The capacity for the elementary school
has been overstated for some time, Mr. Barnes said, because
the open-space building was reconfigured after the primary
school opened. Two classrooms were eliminated when that change
was made, but the capacity numbers weren’t adjusted. School
system staff members are recalculating those figures.
The elementary school has two vacant
rooms, Mr. Barnes admitted, but shifting students into them
would mean splitting the second grade. Such a move could
create problems, he said.
"It’s not an unreasonable
question to ask," he told the board. "But from a
program and administrative standpoint, it’s better to have
all the second grade in one building."
Mr. Barnes said the portables are
necessary to accommodate full-day kindergarten classes at the
school. The state-mandated full-day kindergarten program will
be implemented next year in Thurmont. One portable will be
placed at the school this school year, he said, and as many as
two more will be added before the next school year begins.
Construction of a $3.5 million
addition to the primary school is slated to begin in fiscal
year 2006, Mr. Barnes said. It should open the following year.
Earlier in the meeting, Rick May, the
town’s clerk-treasurer, informed the board that it has the
$9,000 necessary to pay for design work for a section of
Thurmont Boulevard this year. The board has pledged to build
at least a 280-foot section of the road before the proposed
regional library opens in the town.
The stop sign placed at the
intersection of North Carroll Street and Luther Drive to slow
trucks leaving the NVR Homes plant was discussed briefly.
Residents at the intersection have complained about increased
noise as the trucks stop and start.
The board agreed to seek suggestions
at the next Citizens Advisory Board (CAB) meeting and resolve
the matter soon. The CAB meets Friday at 6:30 in a conference
room at the NVR plant.
The commissioners continued discussing
how to honor Albert Zentz. Mr. Zentz, who died recently,
spurred job creation in Thurmont years ago by selling land to
companies looking to build factories.