Student population increases

August 29, 1994|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Sun Staff Writer

Carroll County schools open their doors to an expected 24,745 students today, 991 more than last year.

Some of the 101 new teachers hired this year replace retirees, but the equivalent of 50 full-time positions are to accommodate the additional students, said William Rooney, director of personnel.

Carroll has been building new schools every year this decade, and plans to continue building or renovating at least one school a year into the next century.

Five projects are in at least the planning stages, and the next school to open will be New Windsor Middle School in a year.

"The bubble is coming through now and it's really hitting high schools," said Peter B. McDowell, director of secondary education for Carroll County.

The "bubble" is the bulge of students that first hit elementary schools and middle schools, although those areas are still growing.

High schools are getting the equivalent of 10 new teachers to accommodate an expected 298 new students this year. Schools with the biggest growth are North Carroll, with 81 new students; Liberty, with 75 new students; and Francis Scott Key, with 65 new students.

Middle schools will get the equivalent of seven new positions for the additional 161 students.

Westminster West Middle, the largest middle school with 1,180 students last year, will get an expected 76 more students and three new teachers. The school has spilled into portable buildings, including another four-room unit it received this summer.

North Carroll Middle also is growing, with 58 more students.

dTC In elementary schools, the South Carroll area is experiencing the greatest degree of growth in housing and school enrollment, said Dorothy "Dottie" Mangle, director of elementary education. Freedom, Carrolltowne and Piney Ridge are among the schools with the most new students enrolled this year.

Freedom had four portable classrooms, and another two-room unit was brought in for this fall, Ms. Mangle said.

A new elementary school for the South Carroll area is among the projects the school system is considering for later in the decade.

The showcase building this fall is Mechanicsville Elementary School, which was renovated and expanded over the past school year. Despite vandalism over the summer, the school opened on time. Two teen-age boys were charged in the incident.

But the gymnasium floor won't be ready. School officials are holding out for the contractor and its insurer to replace the floor instead of repairing it in patches. The floor was heavily damaged by spilled gallons of paint, paint thinner and other solvents.

While their school was under construction, Mechanicsville students attended classes in portable buildings grouped on North Center Street in Westminster.

The cluster had housed Sandymount Elementary students the two previous years for the same reason.

Those portables were dismantled over the summer and moved to schools that are experiencing growth.

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