School board OKs design for renovating facility Brooklyn Park Middle to share space with arts, senior centers

November 06, 1997|By Elaine Tassy | Elaine Tassy,SUN STAFF

The Anne Arundel County school board approved a design yesterday that will turn the old Brooklyn Park High School into the only facility in the area where children will be taught under the same roof where other community services are housed.

North Arundel residents have strongly supported the remodeling and full use of the old building. Other counties with vacant buildings have been studying the idea.

Stephen Parker of Grimm and Parker Architects of Calverton presented to the school board a plan that would see the old building reborn in 2000 as a revamped Brooklyn Park Middle School -- "a new modernized middle school" -- with a senior center, creative arts space with a 1,000-seat auditorium, and offices for county agencies.

The school board has approved the general idea of Parker and his staff; last night they approved some details. The cost of the remodeling has been estimated at $16 million to $22 million.

Parker described the facility as "two buildings that happen to touch," forming a Y shape.

After remodeling, the structure will be 222,000 square feet, 148,000 square feet of which will be Brooklyn Park Middle School for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders from Brooklyn Park and other communities in the northern part of the county.

Seventh- and eighth-graders from those areas now travel to Lindale-Brooklyn Park Middle in Linthicum. North County sixth-graders are among the few in the state assigned to elementary schools.

The design calls for the middle school to take up most of the longer branch of the Y as well as a small addition to the building. New parking lots also would be added.

The Chesapeake Center for the Creative Arts will take up most of the space in both shorter branches of the Y. Space for a senior center and for county agencies would also be provided.

The Chesapeake Center will become "a home for local performing and creative arts organizations: bands, chorus and dance companies that are community-based already," said Carole R. Mark, associate project coordinator with Grimm and Parker.

Parker said that the next step will be to finish construction drawings to bring to the school board, probably by next spring.

Pub Date: 11/06/97

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