Envisioning Havre de Grace High School's Future: Renovation

Check out one of four options the Board of Education is considering.

Renovating Havre de Grace High School would involve 32 months of construction, according to a report from Grimm + Parker Architects.

The agency presented four options this month to the Harford County Board of Education for handling the school's aging infrastructure: renovation, modernization, modernization with Congress Avenue closed and replacement. The board is scheduled to vote on one Monday, Dec. 3. 

Under the renovation plan, most classroom spaces and the auditorium would remain, and the following changes would take place:

  • An elevated walkway would connect the two Havre de Grace High School buildings above Congress Avenue. To build the walkway, interior walls would need to be demolished and reconfigured. A walkway across Juniata would be considered.
  • Administrative offices near the school's entry would have additions built on.
  • The one-story technology wing would be demolished and a two-story classroom wing would go in its place.
  • The cafeteria would be demolished and a new one would be built facing the industrial areas on Bourbon Street.
  • Where the cafeteria was demolished would become a new entry point for the school off Pennington Avenue. Parking on Congress Avenue would be reconfigured to allow for car and bus drop-off on Pennington, with buses traveling through Adams Street. Some parking would be added near the southeast part of the site.

Construction Time: 32 months
Cost: $47,864,312
Opportunities: Proposed changes would improve traffic circulation and correct most building code and safety deficiencies.
Challenges: The plan does not meet all Harford County Public Schools requirements for space; the gym, for one, would be 51 percent of the approved size. During renovations, students would need to be moved into portable classrooms. Fifty-one parking spaces would be eliminated, leaving a total of 117 spaces, which is below the required amount and would require a variance.

Curtis Coon November 30, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Don't bother spending 48 million on a renovation. When I was a teenager, I worked in a gas station and I bought my first car, a 1962 Volkswagen. I put chrome on it, painted it, spent what seemed like alot of money to buff it up...the owner of the gas station taught me a valuable lesson. He said, "son, when you're all done, do you know what you'll have? I said, "what?".. he said "it will still be a Volkswagen." So will it be if we foolishly spend 48 million on something that will, at the end of the day, be essentially what we have now. And, how about the students who will, for several years, have to live with displacement and disappointment???
Amin November 30, 2012 at 04:40 PM
What happened to the plan for a new school?
Elizabeth Janney November 30, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Amin, that plan is still in the table. Renovating Havre de Grace High School is one of four options presented to the board. We'll detail the other three options in separate articles; this was the first in the series. Stay tuned!
Nancy Cohn Shuster December 04, 2012 at 05:52 AM
the high school is a different story. Where are you thinking of putting the portables? The school doesn't have a large enough footprint for them to fit. The yard by the shop classrooms held 4-6 trailers. Is that enough room? Don't think so! Taking the Band parking lot looses too many parking spaces, unless the Juniors and Seniors don't get permits. Parking with any of the plans is really lacking. The Board really has a rough decision to make. Nancy Cohn Shuster


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