$36.6 million construction wish list of superintendent gets airing tonight

September 21, 1994|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Sun Staff Writer

School Superintendent Carol S. Parham's $36.6 million construction wish list will be scrutinized at 7:30 tonight by the public.

Dr. Parham's proposal is only about one-third the amount requested last year, said Ralph Luther, acting assistant superintendent for support services.

School administrators realize there is a limit to what the county can afford, he said. So, instead of forcing county officials to choose from among potential projects, "This way, at least, we hope we have indicated . . . there are 21 items we feel strongly should be funded."

The proposal includes money for a new Meade Middle School and an addition to Broadneck High School. The cost of the two projects would be spread over two budget years to lessen their impact on school spending.

The budget also includes money for the planning of additions or renovations at Ridgeway, Jacobsville, Fort Smallwood and Adams Park elementary schools, and at Brooklyn Park and Marley middle schools. The spending proposal also includes money for the planning of a new South County middle school.

Twenty portable classrooms also are included.

"At many of our schools we are at capacity. We have no more room in our permanent classrooms," Mr. Luther said, adding that it may be February before it is known where the portable classrooms would be used.

Testimony tonight will be limited to 3 minutes for individuals and 5 minutes for groups.

Dr. Parham presented her capital budget to the school board on Sept. 7. The system's full budget will not be submitted to the county executive until March. However, the county plans to ask the state for about $7.4 million of the $36.6 million capital budget, and the deadline for submitting proposals for state money is Oct. 15, Mr. Luther said.

On Monday, Thomas G. Dimka, a member of a Crofton committee studying school overcrowding, urged parents worried about crowded schools to come to tonight's hearing and demand that the board make a new high school for West County a top priority. He spoke at a meeting of the Crofton Civic Association.

He said residents also should urge county officials to use impact and waiver fees collected from developers to augment other capital funds to pay for construction to ease overcrowding.

In other business tonight, the school board will consider a proposed pilot program at North County High School designed to ease students' transition from school to work. The board also is likely to approve a labor contract with its workers in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union.

The meeting will be in the school system offices on Riva Road in Annapolis.

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