Boundaries for middle schools facing a new complication Construction pace lags at Oklahoma Road school

January 26, 1996|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,SUN STAFF

School officials and staff drawing middle school boundaries for next year have one more complicating factor -- Oklahoma Road Middle School in Eldersburg almost certainly will not be completed by September and probably not until after the winter break.

Vernon Smith, director of school support services, broke the news last night to about 150 parents at a public hearing on the boundaries at Liberty High School.

If Oklahoma Road is partially ready by this fall, administrators will consider putting some students in the parts of the building that are completed.

"At this point, it seems even a partial occupancy is extremely optimistic," Mr. Smith said, because of construction delays and vandalism last year.

If construction hasn't advanced enough for partial occupation, the second contingency is to put all students destined for Oklahoma Road at Sykesville Middle School along with the Sykesville students, until the new building is ready.

Oklahoma Road will relieve overcrowding, particularly at Sykesville, somewhat at Westminster West Middle School and possibly at Mount Airy.

School planners have prepared four options, one of which Mr. Smith and his staff will endorse at the school board meeting at 9 a.m. Feb. 14

Parents last night were concerned about several issues, including splitting the Carrolltowne Elementary School district, the disruption of a midyear start, long bus rides, and the way the middle school boundaries will compare to the high school boundaries.

The board will meet in mid-March to receive final comments, and vote on one of the four options. They are:

* Option A includes sending to Oklahoma Road the entire Freedom Elementary School attendance area, Presidential Park and about three-quarters of the Carrolltowne Elementary attendance area. About 144 Mount Airy Middle students would be shifted to Sykesville Middle.

* Option B uses the Route 26 corridor as a divider -- those north of the highway as far as Presidential Park would attend Oklahoma Road and those south, except for some Carrolltowne students, would attend Sykesville. If any Mount Airy Middle School students are to be shifted to Sykesville Middle School, that move would be delayed until 1997.

* Option C is the same as Option B, except for leaving the Mount Airy students where they are, and some differences in how the Carrolltowne students would be divided.

* Option D is the same as Option C, except that it shifts some Bear Branch-area students from West Middle to Oklahoma Road.

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