Milford Mill may not reopen till '93 Renovations are taking longer than expected.

January 13, 1992|By Meredith Schlow | Meredith Schlow,Evening Sun Staff

The 700 students and 60 teachers from Milford Mill High School who have been camped out at the old Sudbrook Middle School will have to wait longer than they expected to return to their renovated building.

Milford, which was scheduled to reopen next September, may not reopen until a year from now, school officials say. Meanwhile, classes will continue at the old Sudbrook building.

The contractor had expected to complete construction by next month, but delays in the removal of asbestos have set back the estimated completion date to Aug. 31.

That won't leave enough time to prepare the school for the arrival of students for the fall term, according to Kenneth H. Lurz, project manager and architect for Baltimore County public schools.

Milford's staff and students are hoping to return by January 1993, says Principal Morris Hoffman.

The renovated building also will house the new Northwest Technical School, but its classes will not start until the following September because of the time needed to prepare the building and recruit new students, Lurz says.

Milford's capacity, which was 1,500 students before the renovation, will not change. Hoffman says, however, that the school plans to have 1,000 students in a full-time, comprehensive Milford/Northwest program, leaving room for 500 students who wish to attend only technology classes.

The Milford project, which began in the summer of 1989, will be the most expensive school renovation in county history, at $17 million.

"It's a very big project," Lurz says. "It's a comprehensive high school and technology school. It's really two schools in one."

The money allocated for the school's new equipment, $1.6 million, also will set a county record. Unfortunately, it may not go as far as officials once thought because the high-technology equipment that schools need today is more expensive than the equipment teachers anticipated using when the project was planned five years ago.

James E. Kraft, the county's school facilities planner, stresses that the school will still have state-of-the-art equipment, however.

"If we went to each office and said, 'What would you want in your classroom?' today, the [cost] would be much higher," he says. "Things have changed dramatically and the equipment request today would be significantly different."

For example, in 1987, a business education lab would have been equipped with electric typewriters. Now, teachers and students want computer word processors, which are more expensive. But the schoolmay have to opt for placing some typewriters in the labs along with the computers.

The shortage of money also means that furniture moved from Milford to Sudbrook may have to be used again in the renovated building rather than left at Sudbrook for use when the middle school reopens.

Though Hoffman calls the Sudbrook school "a beautiful facility [that] is housing our student body quite well," he says students and teachers are looking forward to returning to Milford.

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