Neff and schools Superintendent Anthony G. Marchione said the design process also was faulty, because costly features were often added without regard for costs while work was under way.
Projects badly underestimated also include a Perry Hall Middle School addition, off by $3.1 million; a new Edgemere Elementary, off by $3 million; a new Martin Boulevard Elementary, off by $3.1 million; the new Southwest Elementary, off by $3.1 million; a Towson High renovation, off by $1 million; and a replacement for the burned-down Sparks Elementary, $3.3 million.
The costs for additions at Dulaney, Franklin and Pikesville highs were underestimated by a combined $10 million -- but officials said some of that was due to a decision in the revised construction plan to increase their size from 500 seats to 600.
Collins and Gardina said Ruppersberger told them money will be spent for improvements that will help classroom activities at NTC Kenwood High, and county planning money for a new Martin Boulevard Elementary school could be restored to keep that project on track.
But all of the plans are contingent on voter approval Nov. 5 of a record county bond issue for school construction over the next two years -- $89.6 million -- with an expected $32 million in state money and $8 million in cash that Ruppersberger said would be added by the county.
It was Neff's review of each scheduled project over the past two months that resulted in the re-examination of enrollment figures, and the decision to scrap several long-awaited renovation projects in favor of new additions and the new high school, Ruppersberger said.
Marchione said he is studying other remedies for crowding, such as longer school days to allow student attendance on double shifts, three-year high school programs or relocation of whole grades to underused buildings.
Pub Date: 8/07/96