Workers race to finish Bel Air school by Sept. 7

August 28, 1994|By Suzanne Loudermilk | Suzanne Loudermilk,Sun Staff Writer

The eagle has landed -- at Emmorton Elementary in Bel Air.

A stuffed white-and-yellow eagle, the school's mascot, was the first official arrival Wednesday when Principal Margaret D. Goodson and Assistant Principal David W. Cooper moved into the new school.

Teachers will get their first look at Emmorton tomorrow when they report for duty.

The race has been on this summer to complete the new school, because last winter's severe weather interfered with the construction schedule. But Emmorton, which will house 410 students, is expected to open Sept. 7

"It's on schedule," said Donald R. Morrison, county schools spokesman. "The probability is that we will open on time."

Not that the situation is perfect. For instance, Mrs. Goodson and Mr. Cooper will be housed in an extra classroom until the administrative offices are completed.

Last week, Mrs. Goodson looked around the makeshift office, with its piles of papers on folding tables, and pointed to a computer and just- hooked-up telephone with enthusiasm. "We're in business," she said.

Work crews will be putting the finishing touches on the school this week, and county inspectors will go through the 63,000-square-foot building, off South Wheel and Tollgate Roads, consider final approvals.

"We're comfortable now," said Robert Minnich, field manager for CRSS, a construction management company, and the school system's resident representative at the site. "It's 90 percent complete."

In June, school board members set aside $465,000 to speed construction at the school. The money allowed the contractor, H. A. Harris Co. Inc. of Baltimore, to have crews working longer days and six and seven days a week.

One worker, taking a break in a trailer last Wednesday, reeled off his hours for the past three weeks: 93 hours, 90 hours and 83 hours.

Still, the school system expects to spend only about $150,000 of the extra money, Mr. Morrison said.

Emmorton will be the second new county school to open this year. Staff started moving into Church Creek Elementary in Belcamp earlier this month. That school, too, had experienced weather setbacks and was delayed a year while school officials resolved concerns about a possible toxic waste dump and changed contractors because of poor performance.

Harris, the company that is building Emmorton Elementary, took over the Church Creek site in October.

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