Planning Board OKs playing fields for proposed North Laurel schools

August 30, 1996|By Dan Morse | Dan Morse,SUN STAFF

Howard County officials cleared another regulatory hurdle yesterday in their efforts to build middle and elementary schools in North Laurel -- a hurdle much less controversial than the last time around. At issue this time: sports equipment.

The county Planning Board approved a site development plan that includes four playing fields on the other side of a stream from the proposed schools, prompting Ted Mariani, board chairman, to ask, "How are they going to get the bats and balls and all the [sports] paraphernalia out there?"

The site plan calls for a small roadway to connect the fields with the schools, but it is unclear whether coaches will be able to drive across the bridge or will have to lug the equipment across themselves.

The $10.4 million middle school, tentatively named Fairview Middle School, will accommodate 702 students. It is scheduled to open in the fall of 1997. The elementary school will open later.

This year, county work crews began clearing an intersection off Gorman Road for the school. In doing so, they destroyed several hundred feet of vegetation along the road, one of the county's 60 designated scenic routes.

Residents became upset, and the county Board of Public Works decided on a smaller intersection that preserves more of the character of Gorman Road.

Pub Date: 8/30/96

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