County officials appeal to state board to increase spending for two schools

January 20, 1994|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

ANNAPOLIS -- Carroll County officials did some fast talking yesterday to try to persuade the state Board of Public Works to spend more money on two county schools.

School and county officials would have spent more time detailing their requests, but Gov. William Donald Schaefer told them to hurry because the state government was going to close for the day in less than two hours.

Mr. Schaefer announced during the Carroll presentation that Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. had asked him to close state offices from 3 p.m. yesterday until 10 a.m. today to conserve energy during the frigid weather.

Carroll officials asked the board for $6.3 million to build Oklahoma Road Middle School in South Carroll and $2.8 million for additions to Taneytown Elementary.

The board, which is made up of Mr. Schaefer, Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein and Treasurer Lucille Maurer, did not make a decision.

Del. Richard N. Dixon, D-Carroll, said state officials might not announce a decision until the end of the legislative session in April. He said he will make a private plea to the governor this week.

Mr. Dixon told the board that South Carroll needs a new middle school to relieve crowding at Sykesville Middle School, which has about 200 students more than its capacity of 855.

"We need to have this school built. We need to do it now. We can't put it off," he said.

South Carroll is one of the fastest-growing areas in the county, he said.

Mr. Goldstein said he realized that the area had changed greatly since he first campaigned there in 1958.

Carroll, one in a long line of counties asking for money, asked the state to contribute $6.3 million toward the $11 million cost of the school.

In November, the state Interagency Committee on School Construction decided not to help pay for the middle school and to supply less than requested for Taneytown Elementary. The county is appealing that decision to the board.

The county had asked the state to contribute $2.8 million toward the $6 million cost of renovating the elementary school. The county had agreed to pay the other $3.2 million.

The school has about 400 students, but county officials said it needs room for 600. State officials originally said the school needed a capacity of 500, but they changed that this year, saying they had no evidence that enrollment would grow beyond 400.

State officials said they would pay $1.6 million for renovations. County officials are asking the state for its original commitment of $2.8 million.

Besides Mr. Dixon, the Carroll contingent yesterday included Republican Del. Richard C. Matthews, R-Carroll; Republican Sen. Larry E. Haines; Commissioner Donald I. Dell; school board President John D. Myers; county school Superintendent R. Edward Shilling; and Vernon Smith, director of school support services.

Republican Del. Donald B. Elliott attended the meeting but left before the county presentation.

Carroll officials were scheduled to speak at noon but did not get to make their presentation until 1 p.m. because of the large number of speakers.

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