School plan looks south 2 facilities scheduled for booming region in southern Carroll

Getting boards 'in sync'

Facilities Master Plan to be presented again at meeting tonight

May 13, 1998|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF

The county school system's long-range building plan includes two new projects in fast-growing south Carroll -- a middle school and a career and technology center.

The projects are part of the Facilities Master Plan, a 10-year schedule for school construction that is reviewed annually by the county Board of Education.

School planners presented the 1998-2007 master plan to the Board of County Commissioners yesterday during a meeting with the school board. The plan will be presented again at the school board meeting today at North Carroll High School.

In addition to the two new schools in south Carroll, the plan outlines design, construction and renovation schedules for other projects, including Cranberry Station Elementary in Westminster, a Hampstead middle school and two new high schools, one in the southeast and one in Westminster.

The plan differs from previous facilities plans because it reflects an attempt to align the school board's building priorities with the county's spending capabilities.

The county has outlined its financial commitments to school construction and renovations in a $105 million, six-year capital improvement program.

"What you will find in the facilities master plan is in sync 100 percent with what the two boards [the school board and the Board of County Commissioners] have basically said was needed and affordable," Vernon Smith, director of school support services, told the commissioners during the meeting yesterday.

"If these projects are constructed as planned, we will be in pretty good shape with some room to grow, as opposed to always playing catch-up," Smith said.

Cooperation

Commissioner W. Benjamin Brown said he was pleased with the cooperation between the boards.

"The worst thing that can happen from a planning standpoint is last-minute surprises," Brown said.

A new southeast middle school and a south Carroll career and technology center would be built in 2005, according to the facilities master plan. The projects fall outside the county's capital improvement program.

"They're out there, but we thought it was important to get them on the plan and start to move them forward," said Kathleen Sanner, school facilities planner. The middle school would be at Mayeski Park, a site that is part of the South Carroll High School complex and is used for county recreation activities.

'The kids are coming'

Sanner said enrollment projections indicate a need for a fourth middle school in southern Carroll.

"At the middle school level, we know the kids are coming," she said.

The proposed career and technology center would offer the full range of courses available at the Carroll County Career and Technology Center in Westminster.

"Except for kids in some select programs, they're all bused into the Westminster Career and Technology Center," Smith said. "At some point in time, there needs to be another facility to address the demand for students wishing to take those kinds of classes."

Sanner said the location of the career and technology center has not been determined, although South Carroll High School is a possibility. The school already has a satellite career and technology component with automotive and cosmetology courses.

"It could be an addition; it could be a brand new facility," she said.

The school board will hold a public hearing on the Facilities Master Plan at 7 p.m. June 10 in Room 217 at 55 N. Court St. in Westminster.

Pub Date: 5/13/98

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