Schools Seek $5m From County

Capital Budget Request Includes Computer Upgrade, Roof Repairs

September 01, 1991|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff writer

Roofing repairs, paving projects and the upgrading of a computer system make up the bulk of the $5.04 million in county money the school board will seek as part of its capital program for fiscal 1993.

Also included in the program, unanimously approved by the school board Friday, is $1.2 million to purchase property for future schools and about $60,000 to build a central food storage shed for the district's cafeteria system.

In addition to outlining county dollar needs, the capital improvement program lists about $7.2 million in state dollar requests for various school projects.

For fiscal 1993, which begins July 1, the district will seek state reimbursement of about 50 percent of the $5.4million in county dollars spent to build Piney Ridge Elementary in Eldersburg and $1.9 million to help cover renovations at Mechanicsville Elementary, a $4 million project slated for state planning recognition this year.

And, as expected, Carroll will seek state planning recognition -- acknowledgment that a project is needed -- for five school projects. They are a New Windsor Middle replacement, a new Oklahoma Road Middle near Eldersburg, and renovations at Taneytown and Sandymount elementaries and Francis Scott Key High School.

The Sandymount renovation has already begun with money forwarded by the county for the $4.8 million project. The district will seek reimbursement ofsome costs during fiscal 1994.

Vernon F. Smith Jr., director of school support services, said the planning recognition request represents a backlog of projects, due in part to the economic slowdown during the last year. Carroll school officials were unsuccessful in getting planning recognition for the middle school projects this year.

Although the district's capital improvement program lists a wealth of other school projects, including new elementary schools in Westminster and the southeast part of the county, and a new Westminster high school, those projects are not slated to seek planning recognition until fiscal 1995 and beyond. They are included to give the state some idea of the scope of future projects, Smith said.

One project, a newHampstead middle school, slated for state planning recognition in fiscal 1997, prompted Carolyn MacKenzie of Manchester to attend the board meeting.

MacKenzie said she and other parents are upset about crowding at North Carroll Middle School and wanted to know when a new school would be built.

Smith said current enrollment projections don't show a need for a new middle school until the late 1990s. A school must open with at least 50 percent capacity, he said.

Many schools are in need of renovation and expansion. The school board and staff have given priority to providing added capacity through new schools or portable units. One of the new school projects that has been given priority is the New Windsor Middle School replacement because the existing facility is among the most obsolete in the county, Smith said.

Also included in the local requests is money for energy and space improvements at South Carroll High School; tennis court resurfacing at North Carroll High; paving at Westminster High and Charles Carroll, Freedom and Mount Airy elementary schools; roofing improvements at Westminster High; and a canopy at the Carroll County Education Center.

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