August 15th, 2011 by WCBC Radio
Although student population numbers in Allegany County have been steadily declining since the mid 1970’s; and the cost of building a new high school could exceed $16 million- the Board of Education is convinced that the county is best served with a three high school system. With both Cumberland middle schools in need of upgrades- some citizens feel it might be more prudent for the county to invest in upgrading the two middle schools and consolidating Cumberland’s two high school student bodies into Fort Hill- which is still in relatively good condition. While the idea of consolidating Allegany and Fort Hill is not new- the concept was strongly opposed to by both a community group that studied the secondary schools last year; and by the consultant hired by the board. When the consolidation idea was broached during last week’s joint work session of the school board and county commissioners, Board member Laurie Marchini said it would be ill advised and short sighted to plan for having only one high school in Cumberland.