Carter's $77 million building budget includes new Meade middle school

September 02, 1993|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,Staff Writer

The Anne Arundel County Board of Education got its first look at Superintendent C. Berry Carter's proposed $77 million school construction budget yesterday.

The request includes 39 major construction projects, including a new Meade area middle school. The total cost of the school would be about $20.9 million, with the state paying about $5.6 million.

The board, which did not vote yesterday, has scheduled a public hearing for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13 at its Riva Road office. A vote is scheduled for Oct. 6.

Mr. Carter drew up the list shortly before being placed on leave July 31, pending an investigation into whether he properly reported child abuse cases during his term as deputy superintendent.

The capital budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1994, must be submitted to the state for approval by Oct. 15. In February, a proposed capital budget seeking county money will be submitted to County Executive Robert R. Neall.

The proposal seeks state money for three projects -- $1 million for additions and renovations to Deale Elementary, $1.9 million for additions and renovations to Park Elementary and money for the new Meade area middle school.

The proposal also asks state planning approval -- essentially a promise that the state will pick up its share of the project cost later -- for 10 projects in the coming year. Those projects include additions or renovations to Andover, Marley, Southern and Brooklyn Park middle schools; South Shore and Ridgeway elementaries and Broadneck Senior.

"It's a picture of the multitude of challenges and problems we are facing in our facilities, from overcrowding to maintenance to other comfort factors," said board member Maureen Carr-York.

"It's going to be very difficult to set priorities, since there are very few unworthy projects on the list. But we simply won't have the money to do it all."

She noted the talk of possible year-round schooling and suggested that air conditioning systems be added for those schools without them.

The big challenge facing the board is meeting the demands of a growing student population.

The board suggested a few changes. Construction of a new Mountain Road Elementary school should be shifted from the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1998, to the one beginning July 1, 1994, some members suggested.

Two other projects, a new West County Senior High School and renovations to Adams Park Elementary in Annapolis, were moved up from the bottom of last year's priority list after parents urged the board to reconsider.

Mike Raible, director of planning and construction, also asked the board to consider deferring construction of two new learning centers, for students with behavioral problems, from next year until the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1995.

The delay would give the board time to review and understand the matter better, he said.

The total cost of the learning center project would be about $5 million, with the state picking up about $1.5 million.

The former Adams Park Elementary now houses the county's Learning Center. Adams Park would be converted back to an elementary school once the learning centers were built.

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