Coalition seeks delay of more building Schools crowded already, group says SOUTHEAST -- Sykesville * Eldersburg * Gamber

April 07, 1993|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

A citizens group plans to ask the county Planning Commission to impose what would amount to a moratorium on building permits until a new middle school opens in South Carroll.

Citing severe crowding at Sykesville Middle School, the South Carroll Coalition will begin circulating a petition tomorrow. Signers will pledge support for what they are calling a "deferral" on new building.

"Building at the new school may not be complete until 1998, but we can't continue like we are," said Kathleen Horneman, who helped form the coalition last fall.

The state has refused planning money for the proposed Oklahoma Road Middle School, north of Liberty Road, three times. State officials will consider the project again this year.

"We have to stop growth or at least slow it down until officials do something," said Ms. Horneman. "Growth is happening fast here and the state won't count bodies until they are in houses. By then, crowding will reach critical proportions."

PTA groups from Sykesville's four elementary feeder schools also have been meeting regularly to discuss the issue. About 500 people attended a meeting last week to voice concerns about school crowding with state and county education officials and the county commissioners. Many asked the county to begin planning the new school immediately.

Susan Krebs, a member of Carrolltowne PTA, said delaying new development may be necessary, but it would not solve the problem.

"Overcrowding is already a reality here, whether or not we stop building tomorrow," she said.

The PTA groups are working independently of the coalition, Ms. Krebs said, adding that many members rely on the building industry for income and don't want to "be that political."

"We are not against a deferral or growth," she said. "We just want to push for the new school."

The group will send members to all county Planning Commission meetings, said Ms. Krebs.

"We will ask the commission members how they can issue permits when severe overcrowding exists in the schools," she said.

The groups also will attend the April 14 school board meeting.

"We want to make sure Oklahoma Road Middle School is in next year's budget," Ms. Krebs said.

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