Board asks for report on use of school facilities

Study could yield options for buildings, redistricting

December 02, 2004|By Liz F. Kay | Liz F. Kay,SUN STAFF

Anne Arundel school board members want facilities officials to examine how the system uses its schools and other buildings and how that might change in the future.

Such a report would show "how we can best utilize facilities we currently have within the system," Vice President Konrad M. Wayson said at the board's meeting yesterday.

Staff members would decide whether to conduct the study internally or hire an outside consultant to examine demographic patterns, such as age and population shifts; building conditions; and the locations of programs in schools, maintenance and training facilities, and offices.

Proposals for redistricting or other changes gathered from the study would be considered for future years, Wayson said. At the meeting, Superintendent Eric J. Smith recommended that no schools be redistricted for next school year.

But two board members asked school planning staff to research several possible redistricting options, to be presented at a future meeting.

Tricia Johnson asked about the impact of moving children within about a four-mile stretch of Dogwood Road between Woodland and Brookwood roads in Pasadena, from Old Mill High School to Severna Park High School.

Paul G. Rudolph suggested that children from Belvedere Elementary School be funneled to Severna Park High School instead of Broadneck High School, which is crowded.

Rudolph also asked whether other elementary schools that feed into Arundel High School in Gambrills could be shuffled to South River High School in Edgewater and Southern High School in Harwood to avoid building a $12 million addition to Arundel, which already has more than 2,000 students.

In other business at yesterday's meeting:

The board learned that children attending Harman Elementary in Hanover will move to Meade Heights Elementary next school year so Harman can be demolished. Students from Meade Heights will occupy a new elementary school in the Seven Oaks community.

School construction officials announced that the new Mayo Elementary School will be completed toward the end of the school year, rather than in March as scheduled. The building is expected to be ready for next school year.

James Sollers, president of the union representing cafeteria workers, maintenance staff and school bus drivers, asked for assurance that his members' jobs would not be outsourced. Board president Edward P. Carey promised to send a letter to Sollers to quash the rumor. "We want to finally put to rest those fears," Carey said during the meeting.

Board members also discussed the proposed calendar for next school year. Rudolph said he planned to make a motion to reduce the number of paid holidays that central office staff receive.

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