School may get chance at funds for construction

June 05, 1994|By Sherrie Ruhl | Sherrie Ruhl,Sun Staff Writer

C. Milton Wright High School has one last shot at getting state money for a 300-student-capacity addition when Gov. William Donald Schaefer visits the school June 17.

The governor will be visiting the Bel Air school "to see firsthand what the need is," said Gayle Stenzler, executive director of the state's school construction program.

The addition, which would include a second gym and 14 classrooms, has been approved by the state, but funding has been denied.

"We had over $239 million worth of requests," Dr. Stenzler said. The school construction budget for fiscal 1995, which begins July 1, is $106 million.

Most of the money, about $94 million, has been allocated for new schools, additions or renovations.

The remaining $12 million has not been allocated, and that is why Harford's school system is still hopeful, said Donald R. Morrison, spokesman for the county schools.

The state Board of Public Works will meet later this month to decide how the remaining $12 million should be dispensed. If the money is approved, the county will break ground in the fall for the addition to C. Milton Wright High.

The county has already set aside about $1.2 million to pay for its share, said George R. Harrison, spokesman for the county administration, but needs $1.4 million from the state before the project can begin.

It would take at least 1 1/2 years to build the addition.

C. Milton Wright High, which has a capacity of 1,197, has 1,283 students. The school system expects enrollment to reach 1,550 to 1,600 students over the next five years.

The school, which has about 181,000 square feet, has two portable classrooms.

Principal Ronald S. Webb said he is optimistic that the governor will approve the addition.

"I don't think the governor would waste his time coming here if it was a lost cause," Mr. Webb said.

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