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Construction progresses at East Middle in Westminster

Baltimore Sun 10/3/2022 Molly Fellin Spence, Baltimore Sun

Carroll County Public Schools’ construction department is on track with the East Middle School replacement project, according to documents submitted to the Board of Education last month.

The existing school, on Longwell Avenue in Westminster, has remained open during construction.

The replacement school will “provide a modern facility that addresses the requirements of the current middle school program and supports 21st-century learning environments,” according to the construction department. Work began in November 2021 and is expected to be complete late next summer, in time for school opening in September 2023.

The site work contractor is working on masonry to exterior brick walls and has completed storm and sanitary sewer lines and manholes as well as water line relocation on Tuc Road. A steel contractor is working on installing roof steel. Interior masonry for first-floor corridors is nearing completion and the mechanical room is being roughed in with plumbing and electrical, according to school system documents.

The new three-level structure will include about 126,000 square feet, according to the schematic design plans. Once the new building is constructed, the existing building will be demolished and the rest of that site will be developed to complete the project.

The current East Middle School building in Westminster was built in 1936 and was last renovated in 1976. Additions were built in 1941, 1950 and 1964, bringing the square footage to 120,400.

The school serves 790 students, including 40 students in the Behavioral Educational Support Team program.

In May 2019, Westminster officials and community members urged the school board to replace East Middle School but keep it in the same area. Westminster Common Council member Tony Chiavacci argued at the time that Westminster is the largest and most diverse city in the county and East Middle School serves the largest population of students with special needs, English Learners and minority students. Chiavacci said it is important to keep the school where it is within easy access to services in the city such as the Boys & Girls Club of Westminster, the Family Fitness Center and Westminster Skate Park.

The school board first approved construction of the new campus on Longwell Avenue in December 2019 and the project had a $60 million budget at that time.

©2022 Baltimore Sun. Visit baltimoresun.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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