Parham pushes for more funds to repair, build, renovate schools

September 16, 1997|By Elaine Tassy | Elaine Tassy,Sun Staff

The 1997-1998 school year just started, but Anne Arundel school officials are already working on plans for schools to be built, renovated and repaired in the 1998-1999 school year.

They are asking the public for comments on Superintendent Carol S. Parham's proposed $46.6 million capital budget at a 7: 30 p.m. hearing tomorrow at school board headquarters on Riva Road in Annapolis.

The proposal is about $6 million more than the current capital budget.

School administrators will review comments from the hearing, revise the proposal and bring it back in February before the Board of Education votes on it and sends it to County Executive John G. Gary and state education officials for review.

Parham's plan includes $7.6 million for modernization and construction at Lindale-Brooklyn Park Middle School in Linthicum, $4.4 million for an addition and renovation at Jones Elementary School in Severna Park, and $5.7 million for an elementary school in the Piney Orchard Community in Odenton.

The County Council approved $1 million in the budget it adopted in May to hurry along the renovation and expansion at Jones.

Wade Thomas, president of the parent-teacher organization at Jones, said he would attend the board meeting tomorrow to make sure the project didn't fall by the wayside.

When Jones, the school his 11-year-old daughter attended, closed for renovations, it was operating beyond capacity and needed to be expanded to make room for about 100 additional students coming from Belvedere Elementary in Arnold.

"It's going to be a great school," he said. Plans include two classrooms for every grade, art and music rooms, a cafeteria-gymnasium, a health office, a special education classroom and a computer laboratory.

"In the past, the art teacher had her stuff on a cart -- we're talking small," he said, adding that most grades had only one classroom, the gym and music teachers gave lessons in the cafeteria and the special education room was "like a book room."

Jones Elementary students are doubling up at Oak Hill Elementary in Severna Park while county officials do asbestos abatement this fall. Thomas said the 15-month construction job is scheduled to begin in April.

Pub Date: 9/16/97

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