Harford wins $8.8 million for school renovations State money to ease woes at Edgewood Elementary

May 01, 1998|By Suzanne Loudermilk | Suzanne Loudermilk,SUN STAFF

Harford County is expected to pick up $8.8 million in state funds, nearly double last year's amount, to fix deteriorating and crowded schools, including Edgewood Elementary.

The 30-year-old Edgewood school -- where several special-education teachers hold classes on an auditorium stage -- will receive $1.2 million of the proposed money for a top-to-bottom renovation.

"This is a big boost for the school," said Del. Mary Louise Preis, a Harford County Democrat whose district includes the 525-student school. "It's key for the children. I'm really thrilled that the governor and the Board of Public Works have listened to the people."

The funds for Harford and other counties were highlighted this week by Gov. Parris N. Glendening, who has been sweeping the state touting a hefty $225 million in new state money -- the most in two decades -- for school construction projects. In addition to Harford's funding, the governor also announced this week $10.4 million for five upper Eastern Shore counties.

The Board of Public Works is expected to approve the Harford school money at its May 13 meeting.

"We're delighted. It helps us a great deal," said Geoffrey R. Close, Harford school board president. "Any time you get money for school modernization, it's a bonus."

In addition to Edgewood, the Harford construction money covers 20 other projects, including three science labs and eight projects to wire schools for technology. No new schools are planned. In recent years, Harford County, with 49 schools and 39,000 students, has been growing at a rate of about 1,000 students a year.

Glendening announced the money for Harford on Wednesday as he visited Edgewood Elementary. His gubernatorial campaign rival, Harford County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann, attended the announcement but stayed in the background during his tour of the school, participants said. Last week, Rehrmann received the endorsement of Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, who previously had backed Glendening.

Pub Date: 5/01/98

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