With the Board of Education preparing to send its wish list to the state for school renovation and construction money, county parents are eager to offer advice about what should land where on the list.
About 100 parents showed up at Monday's board meeting to make sure their schools were not ignored.
"It's number eight on the list, but we would like to see it in the top five," said parent June Hardesty of Deale Elementary in South County. "The school has experienced a 14 percent increase in enrollment and it is projected to continue. Already the media center is being used for a classroom, and we are waiting for a portable."
Parent Randy Jones asked that the Center for Applied Technology South be expanded, adding he especially would like to see more room to develop the plumbing program.
All speakers had their own agendas in mind, designed to ensure their schools are not neglected.
The list will be submitted to the state's Interagency Committee for Public School Construction, which doles out money for school capital projects.
Money from the state has decreased continually over the years, making the order of placement on the list more crucial.
Board members already have received assurances from the state that money will be approved for work at Lindale Junior High, at the top of the priority list and scheduled to become the permanent home for North County High, now temporarily housed in the old Andover High building.
The board is requesting $4.3 million from the state for that project.
With that in mind, parents are hoping to be bumped up the list by reporting "hot leaky radiators and inadequate pickup space for students being dropped off" at Park Elementary, overcrowding at Belvedere Elementary and the need for expansion of Southern Middle to address a growth boom in that area.
Board members are scheduled to decide on the final prioritized list during the Oct. 10 school board meeting, at 9 a.m.
Other projects included in the preliminary top-10 are the following. The state money being sought is in parentheses:
* Renovations to Parole Elementary ($1.2 million).
* An addition to the Center for Applied Technology South ($833,000).
* Renovating and building an addition to Meade Heights Elementary ($755,000).
* An addition to Southern Middle ($1.1 million).
* Renovating Park Elementary ($1.2 million);
* Renovating and making additions to South Shore Elementary ($679,000).
* Expanding and renovating Deale Elementary ($700,000).
* Money to build Meade Area Middle School at Fort Meade ($5.5 million).
* Expanding Broadneck High School ($7.1 million).
In other business Monday, board members adopted a formal drug and alcohol policy for employees, prohibiting the unlawful possession, use, manufacture, distribution or dispensing of drugs or alcohol on school property or when on official school business.
Board members Jo Ann Tollenger and Thomas Twombly voted against the policy because it did not include pre-employment drug screening.
"It was not complete enough," Tollenger said after the meeting.
Deputy Superintendent C. Berry Carter said pre-employment testing was not included in the policy because the current budget includes no money to pay for tests, which could cost between $18 to $20 each.
Carter said the policy was required by the federal government, in order for the school system to continue receiving financial support, but the board does plan to review pre-employment testing during the next budget cycle.