Schools To Appeal State's Shunning Of New Windsor

Officials Will Ask Panel Of Governor, Others To Reconsider Construction

February 17, 1991|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff writer

WINFIELD — Carroll educators will implore the governor to reconsider a new school project the state has denied.

School officials will make their case for the New Windsor Middle School, needed to replace small and cramped classrooms at the existing facility, before the state Board ofPublic Works in Annapolis on Feb. 27. That board is composed of Gov.William Donald Schaefer, the state treasurer and the comptroller of the treasury.

The Maryland Interagency Committee on School Construction last month denied planning recognition -- state acknowledgment that a schoolis needed -- for the New Windsor project and a proposed Oklahoma Road middle school despite an appeal from Carroll educators.

The IAC did approve the district's request to relocate two state-owned portable classrooms from Manchester Elementary to Winfield Elementary, where a renovation and addition project is scheduled to begin this year.

School officials did not appeal the IAC's denial of construction money for two new elementary schools, one in Westminster and one in Sykesville.

Superintendent R. Edward Shilling said the district should hold off on its appeal of the Oklahoma Road facility, which is needed to alleviate overcrowding at Sykesville and Mount Airy middle schools, because demographics don't justify the project at this time.

"But we need to make a decision whether we want to appeal New Windsor Middle School," Shilling told board members during a meeting at South Carroll High School last week. "I recommend that we should."

New Windsor Middle School, built in 1936 and expanded several times, has been described by educators as the most obsolete school facility inthe county, despite upkeep and maintenance.

The school's cafeteria, for example, serves as a weight room, classroom and food-service area for the school's 450 students. In addition, there is no space in the building for the instrumental music program, which is held in a portable unit placed at the school in the 1950s.

In appealing the IACdecision, Shilling noted that Carroll educators will be criticized for not having a site for the proposed school.

"Nor can we say that something has been sited," Shilling said. "We do not have a piece of ground for New Windsor Middle School."

By not appealing the IAC decision, though, the superintendent said that the district could stand tolose money if additional state dollars become available. Shilling said there is some support for the project among the county's state legislative delegation.

"We will get some help from the delegation," hesaid.

Carroll educators believe the IAC staff is "very supportive" of the New Windsor school replacement and that the project would receive some money from the state if the governor releases more dollars for school construction.

"I think we need to do everything we can to get funding," said board member Carolyn Scott.

Without the proposed New Windsor Middle School replacement on the drawing board, Vernon F.Smith Jr., Carroll's director of school support services, said the district will have no new projects in fiscal 1992 that will be eligible for state construction dollars.

"If we don't have any, the burden will fall on the county government to forward funds for these projects," he said.

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