HARD HATS can be forgotten. Work boots can be swapped for sandals or no shoes at all.
That's because the construction tour of Shiloh Middle School is a virtual one, via the Internet. The actual construction site will not be available for tours until late this month or next month. Until then, pupils and parents can stay informed with a virtual tour prepared by school staff.
"Presenting a virtual tour was my first duty, my first goal," says Linda Sprinkle, office manager.
The site includes introductions by Principal G. Thomas Hill, Assistant Principal Jacklyn Moore, Sprinkle, building supervisor Marjory Dellospedale and food service manager Edwina Keeney. Sprinkle will update the computerized showcase of 45 teachers and add June and July pictures to the tour.
The tour can be accessed through the county public schools Web site, or directly by entering the Web address http://ccpl.carr.org/ccps/shiloh/index.h tm. Click on Picture Tour to meet a tour guide standing in the weedy field amid construction debris.
The five-minute building tour begins with a gritty scene of cinder block and ceramic tile. Dust clouds some of the images, but each is a glimpse into the complexity of building a school. Ceilings sprout spaghetti of dangling wires, revealing the technological marvel that this school will be for its pupils.
"I just go through the building, taking pictures. It's neat to see where we started, and it's really exciting to watch it get done," Sprinkle said. The tour is a slide show, with the most recent pictures at the end.
The special education room has a wonderful skylight, and the outdoor courtyard at the center of the building has circular paving. The media center glows with yellow walls beneath the peaked, greenhouse-style roof.
Pupils have received school blueprints, so they can compare them with what's online. They'll be pleased to find large lockers in attractive colors. Here and there, a workman is seen, giving a sense of how spacious the school will be. The picture tour follows the path of whatever is new.
"The areas that get done first are what I put on the Web site. For instance, they've just put the cabinetry in the art room and mailboxes in the office," Sprinkle said.
Shiloh Middle School is at 3675 Willow St., near Hampstead Elementary. Shiloh Middle can be reached at 410-386-4570.
Family fun night
The next Family Fun Night at Hampstead Pool will be held from 7 to 9 Saturday. Pool members pay $1, and nonmembers pay $2 for swimming, games and contests. Penny diving, slide splash contests and the raw egg toss were popular at last month's event.
Churches hold block party
The combined Manchester congregations of Trinity United Church of Christ and Emmanuel Lutheran Church continue to celebrate their 240th anniversary with a block party July 23.
The churches, which stand side by side on Church Street, will celebrate outdoors with entertainment and a visit by Republican Del. Joseph M. Getty. Food and beverages are included in the $3 admission. For tickets, contact the church office at 410-372-2727.
Pat Brodowski's North neighborhood column appears each Wednesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.