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New Havre de Grace middle, high on track to open for next school year; last turf field being installed at Patterson Mill

Workers add pieces of metal trim to a section of exterior windows Tuesday afternoon at the site of the Havre de Grace middle, high school building. The 250,111-square-foot school building is projected to open for the 2020 school year.
Workers add pieces of metal trim to a section of exterior windows Tuesday afternoon at the site of the Havre de Grace middle, high school building. The 250,111-square-foot school building is projected to open for the 2020 school year. (Matt Button / The Aegis/Baltimore Sun)

Construction at the new middle and high school in Havre de Grace is “on time, under budget and will be ready for the 2020-2021 school year,” Cornell Brown, assistant superintendent of operations for Harford County Public Schools, said.

Havre de Grace Mayor William T. Martin took a tour of the school construction Tuesday and said he’s really happy with the new building.

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“I’m just really happy for the kids. They’ll have everything they need to compete in the world by the time they leave that building,” Martin, an eighth-grade American history teacher at Aberdeen Middle, said. “Grades six to 12 will have the best amenities we can offer these kids.”

He can already tell the school is reflective of the Havre de Grace community, with floors painted blue to represent the Chesapeake Bay, green for the fauna and dark blue for the sky. And the pillars out front represent the bridges over the Susquehanna, he said.

“The school is beautiful, the attention to detail is amazing,” he said. “They really thought about attention to detail and attention to the architecture that reflects our city.”

If he could teach American history at Havre de Grace Middle, specifically the Revolutionary War to Reconstruction following the Civil War, he would transfer from Aberdeen “in a heartbeat."

Havre de Grace City Council President David Glenn, who joined the mayor and city staff for the guided tour Tuesday, said "It was awesome. I really think that it’s long overdue; the kids are really, really going to benefit.”

The Havre de Grace High School graduate has been a long-time advocate for building new facilities to replace the aging Havre de Grace High School and Middle School. He, along with many other members of the community, have spent years getting that message out to Harford County Public Schools, county and state officials.

He praised project manager Harry Miller, whom Glenn said is from Havre de Grace, for his “passion” for ensuring the school is well designed and has multiple benefits for the students.

Glenn also said he received confirmation that the new school will host a countywide magnet program for computer science, that two rooms have been set aside for it. He noted officials from the nearby Aberdeen Proving Ground Army post have “a strong need” for a healthy high school computer science program.

He said the school is expected to be an economic development boost and bring new residents to a city that already has a number of benefits such as being on the waterfront, being one of the safest cities in the U.S. and “a great place to raise a kid.”

“I can’t say enough about it; I’m just excited,” Glenn said. “It’s been a long-awaited dream, it’s finally going to come true for our kids. It’s really going to give them a chance to enhance their educational experience.

Work has begun on the Patterson Mill High School turf field project. Fall sports teams that would use the field will play their home games at various locations until the project is completed.
Work has begun on the Patterson Mill High School turf field project. Fall sports teams that would use the field will play their home games at various locations until the project is completed. (Matt Button / The Aegis/Baltimore Sun)

Also under construction is the new turf field at Patterson Mill Middle/High School in Bel Air.

Patterson Mill, built in 2007, is the last of Harford’s high schools to get a turf field and will require the Huskies to play all their games off-site this year.

Construction costs of the new field are nearly $1.7 million, according to FY2019-2020 budget documents.

The first artificial field was installed at North Harford High School when it was renovated in 2007.

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