State to give Balto. Co. $15 million for schools Principal asks governor for money to replace Martin Blvd. Elementary

April 27, 1996|By Mary Maushard | Mary Maushard,SUN STAFF

Principal Carolan Stewart had a rare opportunity yesterday to lobby Gov. Parris N. Glendening for money to replace her aging Martin Boulevard Elementary School.

The school had been chosen this week as the stage for Mr. Glendening to formally announce that Baltimore County would receive $15 million in state funding for school construction and renovation -- but money for a new Martin Boulevard Elementary was not guaranteed.

"This is a school that really is working. But parents have lost confidence in the building -- not in the program, but in the building," Ms. Stewart told the governor and a group of county officials."We really believe we need a new building to revitalize the community," she said before taking them to the site for a new school, which would be built on land adjacent to the old building.

In his formal remarks, Mr. Glendening said a new school "is likely to happen here," but could offer no guarantee. The final decision rests with county school officials and the local school board.

The $15 million in state money is 60 percent more than was given last year and the second-highest amount awarded to Maryland's 24 school districts for new schools, and additions and renovations to facilities.

The county is receiving the money "because of the needs and because of the teamwork" of county officials, Mr. Glendening said.

"We need money for renovations of schools in existing neighborhoods," he said, reiterating his preference of renovating old schools in established areas rather than building new ones in developing areas that fuel the suburban flight of families.

At Martin Boulevard, parents, teachers and school officials want a new school on the existing site. The present school was built in 1927, with additions in 1937, 1949 and 1969. Its problems are myriad -- termites, shaky floors, poor heating and ventilation -- and its enrollment of 347 is about 175 students over capacity.

Martin Boulevard is among 33 projects in the county school system's 1997 capital budget.

"My understanding is that we are definitely in line for some money," said Ms. Stewart.

Pub Date: 4/27/96

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