Vacation not over yet at Hereford Middle School

September 08, 1994|By Mary Maushard | Mary Maushard,Sun Staff Writer

Vacation's not over yet for Hereford Middle School's 840 students.

While their Baltimore County classmates return to school today, the Hereford students won't begin until Sept. 19 because of construction delays on an addition that will nearly double the school's capacity.

The school was originally scheduled to reopen one week late, on Sept. 15, but continuing construction problems and concern from a few parents about opening on Yom Kippur prompted school officials to delay the opening four more days.

Hereford Principal Judith Scheper said she has notified parents throughout the summer about delays, and that most have been understanding. "We are trying to keep our sense of humor," she said. "We will open on the 19th."

Although Hereford will open 11 days after the rest of the county schools, its students will miss only six days of classes because of intervening weekends and a holiday for all students on Sept. 13, Election Day. The students will not lose out on instruction, said Ms. Scheper.

"Teachers are using these days very wisely" to plan how they will make up any work that might be missed, she said.

The Hereford students will not have to make up the six days.

Ms. Scheper said school officials were aware from the outset that the start of classes might have to be postponed a few days. To accommodate the addition, contractors had to take off the front of the building and remove the driveway that school buses use. That part of the project, which began the day classes ended in June, was scheduled to take 12 weeks to 14 weeks. Despite material problems and weather delays, it is still on schedule, with the 14-week window ending Sept. 23.

Ms. Scheper said the new front is on the building, and the windows were installed this week.

The boiler room had to be renovated, so the school has been without hot water since June, she said. A portable system will provide hot water. Construction crews will continue to work on the addition, which is expected to be finished early next year. They will not work in the old part of the building during school hours.

Hereford was built in 1984 with a capacity of 625 students, said Ms. Scheper. The $4.5 million addition includes 14 classrooms, two computer labs, additional space for art, music and physical education classes and an agricultural technology wing. The renovated school will have a capacity of 1,100.

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