Glendale parents demand funding for school repairs They detail needs at board meeting on proposed budget

September 17, 1998|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,SUN STAFF

A new Glendale Elementary School is long overdue, according to the dozens of parents and students who, determined to be noticed, wore bright yellow shirts to a school board hearing on the proposed capital budget last night.

"The funding for the study is a great place to start," Cindy Thompson, whose children attend Glendale, told the eight-member school board. "But we need money for bricks and mortar and we want the board to know this. We don't want to fall by the wayside again."

Thompson was among about 50 parents and students from Glendale who attended the hearing at which the board sought public comment on Superintendent Carol S. Parham's proposed capital budget.

The parents and local elected officials agree that the 48-year-old school on Carroll Road in Glen Burnie should be replaced.

Parham moved Glendale up the list of capital projects and included $681,000 in planning and design money in her proposed $43 million capital plan for fiscal 2000. The project has gained the support of County Executive John G. Gary, who appeared yesterday to have ended his longtime feud with Parham and the board, and announced during a news conference that he would release $17 million from a contingency account to county schools.

"We knew in June that the county executive supported us," Thompson said before she testified. "He told us all the board had to do is ask for the money."

Thompson showed the board pictures of worn asbestos tiles, leaking and broken windows, cracks in walls and pipes, outdated lighting systems and rust-stained sinks at Glendale. She also asked the board to dip into school funds -- provided by the state -- to pay for oscillating fans in the classrooms where there is no air-conditioning, carpet to cover asbestos-tiled floors and a wheelchair ramp for handicapped parents and students.

"These are things we need right now," she told the board.

Thompson said it is important that Glendale parents continue to press for a new school.

Although Gary approves of the project, it must be approved by the board and the County Council.

Thompson said she wants to make sure that the planning money is approved before a new council takes office after the Nov. 3 election.

"It would be scary to have to start this process all over again," she said.

Kelly Jackson, whose children attend Glendale, said she is prepared to fight for a new school.

"We are not going to stop until we get a new school," Jackson said. "Once the planning money is approved, we will work with a new County Council to make sure that construction starts."

Pub Date: 9/17/98

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