Skip to main content

Notice of Public Hearing Regarding Potential School Closures of Hickory Elementary School and Fountain Rock Elementary School

Posted May 19, 2023


Hickory Elementary School
Fountain Rock Elementary School
in June, 2027

Monday, June 5, 2023  |  Williamsport High School

6:00 p.m.


Washington County Public Schools’ (WCPS) believes every student deserves a clean, safe, and healthy learning environment to receive an exceptional education. WCPS must also build and maintain school facilities in a way that maximizes available resources in a cost-effective manner. 

Hickory Elementary School was constructed in 1975, and is ranked as the lowest-rated elementary facility in the WCPS inventory included in the 2022 Educational Facilities Master Plan (EFMP). Fountain Rock Elementary School was constructed in 1970 and is the fourth lowest-rated elementary facility in the WCPS inventory. These rankings are assessed by physical and functional ratings. 

Superintendent’s Recommendations

Dr. David T. Sovine, Superintendent of Schools, presented his recommendation to close Hickory Elementary School and Fountain Rock Elementary School and to construct a replacement elementary school along Downsville Pike. This information was shared with the Washington County Board of Education (WCBOE) at the public business meeting on May 2, 2023.

If approved, both Hickory and Fountain Rock elementary schools would be scheduled to close in June of 2027, and the replacement elementary school would open in August of that same year. The replacement school will be constructed on the property of WCPS’s Center for Education Services, located at 10435 Downsville Pike in Hagerstown.

Public Hearing

The final decision regarding the closure of these schools will be made by the WCBOE. The Board is seeking public comment and input regarding the Superintendent’s recommendations during a public hearing on Monday, June 5, 2023, at Williamsport High School at 6:00 p.m. 

WCBOE Policy KD indicates public hearings will last a maximum of two and a half (2 ½) hours but may conclude sooner if no additional participants who wish to speak are present. Individuals wishing to speak should arrive at the hearing no later than 7:00 p.m. The hearing provides an opportunity for any person to address the WCBOE with feedback and concerns regarding the proposed school closures and changes. 

Individuals can speak up to three (3) minutes, and individuals speaking on behalf of an organization are provided five (5) minutes for comments. An organization may have one individual speak on its behalf. Further comments from organization members will be subject to the three (3) minute limitation. Community members who would like to speak are encouraged, but not required, to sign up in advance. Attendees can also sign up to speak at the meeting starting at 5:30 p.m. the day of the public hearing. Individuals who sign up in advance will speak first.

Community members can sign up to speak online at:  

Individuals can also sign up in advance by contacting Debra Cechovic, secretary to the WCBOE, by calling 301-766-2971 or emailing [email protected]. Advance sign-ups will be accepted until 12:00 p.m. (noon) the day of the hearing.

Individuals requiring special accommodations are also asked to contact Ms.Cechovic at least five (5) business days in advance of the hearing so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

Access to Reports

The full report outlining the Superintendent’s recommendations for closing Fountain Rock and Hickory Elementary schools is available on the WCPS website at

The public may also access a printed copy of the Superintendent’s Report at Fountain Rock Elementary and Hickory Elementary as well as the Center for Education Services located at 10435 Downsville Pike in Hagerstown.

Additional Public Comment 

Written public comments will be received and included in the official record until Friday, June 16, 2023. Written correspondence should be emailed to [email protected] or addressed to:

Washington County Board of Education
10435 Downsville Pike
Hagerstown, MD 21740

Copies of written correspondence will be provided to all members of the WCBOE. Individuals who have previously provided feedback to the WCBOE in email or written correspondence already have their communication included in the official record. 

Pending Vote

An official vote on this matter is tentatively planned for the WCBOE’s public business meeting on Tuesday, June 20, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. at the Center for Education Services. The public may watch the live broadcast on the WCPS cable channel, which is channel 99 for Antietam Cable subscribers. The meeting will also be streamed live online on the WCPS Facebook page ( and the WCPS website (

If community members have questions regarding the public hearing, contact [email protected] or call the Public Information Office at 301-766-2809.