“To the residents of this county, this is like Christmas Eve.”
-Chris Hauge, Director of Facilities and Operations, Dorchester County Public Schools.
A team of HCMers took a road trip to Hurlock, Maryland to tour the recently-completed North Dorchester High School (NDHS). The building is more than just a school; it will be a hub for community events, a resource for critical health care and source of pride for families, students, officials, and residents alike.
“We spent a year upfront engaging our community. Which is challenging, but if you do it the right way and with the right heart, you get very valuable things out of it,” Hauge said. “Peter [Winebrenner] and his team are outstanding listeners.”
The design for NDHS was borne from extensive collaboration with the community. Despite limited resources, the county and its residents were dedicated to making the school a showpiece for the region. And for good reason; from its award-winning marching band to its budding career-technology programs, Dorchester County is a proud place.
“We’re going to do what we need to do to take care of the residents in Dorchester County. That’s what this school is about,” Hauge said.
The County is expecting population and economic growth over the next decade, and they want to be ready. While the school is relatively small by the typical high school standards (capacity for around 600 students), it is oversized for the current student body, leaving room for future students.
In response to the needs of and comments from the community, the school will offer resources to support the mental and physical health of not only the students, but the greater community. A section of the building in a centrally, yet securely-accessible location, is dedicated to health with an inviting counseling office, health clinic and a nurse’s suite.
Check out photos from the day: