County mulls standards for judging its facilities What is measure of crowded school?

April 27, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

How should Carroll decide whether its schools are crowded or its firefighters and medics fail to get to emergencies fast enough?

County commissioners agreed yesterday to ask town mayors for their ideas before voting on an adequate-facilities report prepared by a citizens committee.

The report, presented to the commissioners in February, recommends standards the county can use to determine when TC growth causes county facilities to be inadequate.

County staff members who helped write the report will explain the document to the mayors on May 13, the date of the next quarterly mayors' meeting with the commissioners.

All three commissioners said yesterday that the citizens committee that developed the report did a good job.

Union National Bank President Joseph Beaver Jr. was the acting chairman of the committee, which was formed in August 1991.

The commissioners said they will vote on whether to adopt the recommendations after hearing from the mayors.

Committee recommendations include:

* A change in the way the Board of Education determines how schools are becoming crowded.

Current policy says a school is inadequate if it enrolls more than 25 full-time students above its capacity.

The committee recommended the schools use a percentage of capacity instead, which allows officials to consider the physical size of a school when deciding whether it is too crowded.

Larger schools could accommodate more students above capacity than smaller schools, the report says.

An elementary school would be inadequate if its enrollment was more than 105 percent of capacity, and a high school would be inadequate if its enrollment was more than 110 percent, the report says.

* Response times for fire and emergency vehicles should be 10 minutes from the time the agency is first alerted to the arrival of equipment on the scene.

That time is accepted by the National Fire Protection Association, the report says.

The report also says housing subdivisions should be located within five miles of emergency services.

The committee also made recommendations about how to determine when water, sewer and solid waste facilities were reaching capacity.

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