Wright High may get addition for more class space, new gym

April 11, 1993|By Sherrie Ruhl | Sherrie Ruhl,Staff Writer

C. Milton Wright High in Bel Air could be back on track for a building addition for 300 students as well as a second gym to be completed in 1995.

County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann, speaking to the County Council Thursday morning, said the state could free additional funds that would allow the high school to get its addition.

In October, the school board postponed C. Milton Wright's addition until about 1997 because student growth wasn't enough to justify state funding, said school board member Keith Williams. This year, countywide student enrollment was up about 985, not the 1,336 students the school system had predicted.

But the school was still going to get its second gym and Mrs. Rehrmann had allocated $800,000 for that construction.

State Sen. William H. Amoss, a District 35A Democrat, now says state money could become available for the addition if the county can come up with its share of the costs.

That means the county would have to spend about $250,000 on planning costs in fiscal 1994, which starts July 1, Mr. Amoss said. The gym, which was to be paid for solely with county money, might also be postponed until fiscal 1995 so it can be built at the same time as the addition, he said.

The addition, which would include classrooms and areas such as science labs and a band practice area, would cost about $2.6 million, with about $1.4 million coming from the state and about $1.2 million from the county, Mr. Amoss said.

"I've got a kind of a commitment from the Interagency Committee that if we can get the planning done in fiscal 1994 and be ready to build in fiscal 1995 then we should be able to get funding," Mr. Amoss said. The Interagency Committee on School Construction is the state agency that allocates state funds for school construction projects.

C. Milton Wright is about 90 pupils over capacity with 1,280 students, according to Principal Ronald S. Webb. The school expects enrollment to grow to at least 1,600 students and possibly as high as 1,700 students by 1999.

"We have two portables and we have built four temporary classrooms inside what used to be common areas, and we have expanded four more classrooms," Mr. Webb said. Every high school in the county except C. Milton Wright has two gyms. The facility becomes dangerously crowded during the winter and on rainy days, he said.

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