State unit rejects school addition Local officials can seek funds again

November 22, 1992|By Sherrie Ruhl | Sherrie Ruhl,Staff Writer

A state agency that recommends school projects for state funding has turned down a 300-student addition to the Bel Air Middle School.

But Harford County school officials say they are not fazed because they have two more chances to ask the state for the money.

State money was approved Thursday to build Country Walk Elementary in Bel Air and replace the roof at Havre de Grace Middle School. But the 38,480-square-foot addition at Bel Air Middle School, which would cost the state about $2 million, was rejected because the state does not have enough money to fill all requests.

"We have $60 million to allocate to the various subdivisions and we had $200 million worth of requests," said Yale Stenzler, executive director of the Interagency Committee on School Construction. "We tried to address the top priority project in each jurisdiction but there is a lot of stiff competition for those funds," said

Albert F. Seymour, the Harford schools spokesman, said the Bel Air Middle School decision would be appealed to the InterAgency Committee when it meets in December. If the request is denied again it can be appealed to the state Board of Public Works in January.

Mr. Seymour and Anne Sterling, the school board president, said they expect the addition to be approved. Mrs. Sterling said the addition is justified because of the growing school-age population in Bel Air. And she said the addition has the support of local politicians, including Harford's state legislative delegation.

The state typically pays a percentage of construction costs of buildings, additions and rennovations. The county has to pay other costs. The addition at Bel Air Middle School would cost the state about $2 million and the county about $2.8 million. It would increase the 32-year-old school's capacity from about 1,000 students to 1,300. The addition would include classrooms, a computer laboratory, a band room and two teacher planning rooms.

The state's share of the Country Walk school, which will open in 1994 and hold 600 children, will be about $3.1 million. The county's share will be about $3.5 million. Replacing the roof at Havre de Grace Middle School will cost the state about $281,000 and the county about $188,000.

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