Campfield school, closed for 9 years, will get expanded alternative school

June 29, 1994|By Mary Maushard | Mary Maushard,Sun Staff Writer

Campfield Elementary School, closed nine years ago because of declining enrollment and maintained by Baltimore County since, has been returned to the Baltimore County school system, which will expand its alternative middle school there.

The school, on Alter Avenue in the Pikesville area, has housed the alternative school since September, when it opened with a capacity of 45 students. Next school year, Campfield will be able to accommodate 100 students from 10 middle schools in the southwest and northwest areas of the county.

"We had a waiting list all year," said Marcella Emberger, who was the principal of Campfield last year but will be leaving that job Friday.

Ms. Emberger said 68 youngsters considered too disruptive to stay in their home schools attended Campfield last year, some of them returning to their home schools when they were ready.

The community programs that use Campfield also will remain in the building, though they will be moved to a back wing with their own entrance, Ms. Emberger said. "Campfield is a community building, and these programs will stay," she said. "We want the community to know that."

Among them are a YMCA school-age day care program, Catonsville Community College classes and many activities sponsored by the county Department of Recreation and Parks.

Campfield closed in 1985, but the school system never left the building entirely, said James Kraft, the schools' manager of capital planning. A wing was used for offices for pupil personnel workers and a psychologist.

"We're delighted to take the building back," said Mr. Kraft, who added that the school system now would be able to make necessary repairs.

The county schools opened five alternative schools in September for disruptive students who might otherwise be expelled for their behavior. The three middle schools and two high schools accommodated about 300 students this year.

Robert W. Griffiths, formerly assistant principal at Loch Raven High School, will replace Ms. Emberger as the Campfield principal.

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