Some parents oppose high school location at Marriottsville site

Howard County board scheduled to make key decisions today

January 24, 2002|By Tanika White | Tanika White,SUN STAFF

Parents and community members who live near the proposed site for Howard County's 12th high school plan to picket outside the Board of Education today in an effort to persuade board members not to put the school near their homes in Marriottsville.

The board is scheduled to vote on the site this afternoon. In addition, the board plans to approve high school boundary lines during its evening session.

But members will have to contend with parents with posters demanding that the high school's location be reconsidered. The rally is the latest in a recent flurry of attempts by Marriottsville neighbors to keep the high school out.

Opposition isn't confined to prospective neighbors of the high school.

In the fall, members of the Boundary Lines Advisory Committee - swamped with school redistricting concerns - said the 12th high school should be built in the northeastern part of the county because schools such as Long Reach in Columbia and Howard in Ellicott City are in desperate need of relief.

If built on the Mount View property in Marriottsville, the high school would be closest to the Mount Hebron and River Hill school districts, and relief for crowded eastern high schools would be achieved by busing students long distances to the new school, they said.

School officials say the Marriottsville site is the best they can offer. Land in the northeast, where everyone agrees the school would be best situated, is unavailable or far too expensive, they say.

The school board has been uncertain about the Mount View location

In November, the site was barely approved with yes votes from two of the board's four members at the time, Chairwoman Jane B. Schuchardt and member Patricia S. Gordon. It was opposed by member Virginia Charles, and Vice Chairwoman Sandra H. French abstained.

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