County officials grapple with school crowding Space not as tight as previous years

August 23, 1993|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff Writer

As the first day of school approaches, officials are finishing plans for placing students.

* Just two years after it opened, Spring Garden Elementary School in Hampstead is so crowded it needs portable classrooms this year.

"We knew that was going to happen," said Kathleen Sanner, a facilities planner for the schools. "We couldn't get planning approval from the state for a larger facility."

The long-term solution will be to build a second elementary school in Manchester, but it won't be ready until September 1998.

Elementary schools in Hampstead and Manchester will have to continue adding portable classrooms, she said.

* The first week might be bumpy for some students who will have to change classrooms later in September.

Portable classrooms being added to Northwest Middle School in Taneytown won't be ready until the middle of the month, Ms. Sanner said.

Also, a portable classroom suite being added to West Middle School in Westminster may not have plumbing by the first day of school, said Vernon Smith, director of school support services.

* Although there is crowding here and there, in general the county is enjoying a brief period during which it has more space than it has in the past few years, Mr. Smith said.

Additions at Winfield Elementary have created more space there and at Mount Airy Elementary, which lost some students to Winfield.

Sandymount and Mechanicsville elementaries are under capacity, although the latter is being renovated and its students are attending classes at an annex in Westminster.

But crowding will return soon, Mr. Smith said.

In Eldersburg, Piney Ridge Elementary opened two years ago with three empty classrooms. Now, every room is full.

Other southeastern schools -- Carrolltowne, Freedom and Eldersburg -- are at or over capacity, Ms. Sanner said.

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