City school board seeks $150 million for renovations

September 30, 2006|By Sara Neufeld

The Baltimore school board voted this week to request $150 million for school renovations from the state for the 2007-2008 school year.

The request must be approved by the City Council before it is sent to the state.

The system is asking for money for projects that include major renovations at Paul Laurence Dunbar and Carver high schools and Violetville and Leith Walk elementary schools.

Though system officials have estimated that they have more than $1 billion in building maintenance needs, they are unlikely to receive all the money they are asking for.

State officials have not announced how much money will be allocated for school construction and renovation next school year, but Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has supported a goal of $250 million a year to be spread out among all 24 school systems in Maryland.

The $150 million request is "obviously a very, very large percentage" of the total amount that will be available statewide, said David Lever, executive director of the state's public school construction program. He said the state must take into account the needs of all of Maryland's school systems.

In addition to whatever the city system gets from the state, it expects to receive $18 million in city bond funding for building renovations.

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