Forums set on study of schools

Firm hired for data on facilities, demographics


Two public forums will be held this week to brief the public on a planned study of the school system's facilities.

The Anne Arundel County school system is paying MGT of America, a national management and consulting firm, $488,874 for the Strategic Facilities Utilization Study and Master Plan.

The study, to be completed by spring, will collect information on the conditions of school facilities and school and community demographics. It will address issues such as the school system's immediate and future space needs, present and future student enrollment and building use and conditions.

The result, according to school system officials, will be a long-range plan for housing the system's programs - including prekindergarten and alternative education - and accommodating the growth and movement of the county's students.

Superintendent Eric J. Smith has called the project "a landmark study."

According to officials, the results of the study also could be used for future redistricting. The last countywide redistricting, which took place in 1995, was highly contentious.

Board member Enrique Melendez said he had redistricting in mind when he voted to authorize the study.

"Getting all that [information] together will help the board start addressing redistricting when it comes up. That's why we're getting it done," he said. "It also validates our priorities for future capital expenditures."

The forums will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.Tuesday at Chesapeake Arts Center, 194 Hammonds Lane in Brooklyn Park, and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Dr. Carol S. Parham Administration Building, 2644 Riva Road, Annapolis.

Representatives from the school system and from MGT will explain the scope of the study, present a timeline and answer questions. Melendez said residents can also offer feedback.

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