The Imagine Global Village Academy Public Contract School, planned as a K-8 school in Laurel to open in 2011, will help alleviate crowding at Brockbridge, Maryland City and Jessup elementary schools and anticipated future attendance increases because of the BRAC resettlement. Imagine Global, a Virginia-based charter school operator, runs 18 schools nationwide with 35,000 students.
Superintendent Kevin M. Maxwell, a proponent of school choice, opened a new charter school, Monarch Academy, in Glen Burnie this year. The county's other charter school, Chesapeake Science Point Public Charter School, moved to a new building in Hanover this year and the middle school plans to expand to high school next year.
"It provides another avenue of school choice for students in our county," said Bob Mosier, a spokesman for the superintendent. "It's been another collaborative relationship, in which the two parties can move forward with an agreement that will benefit our students."
Imagine plans to hire Washington-based developer Polm Cos. to build the $14 million school at the site of a Moose Lodge on Brock Bridge Road and lease it back to Imagine.
"It's a win-win situation," said Eugene Peterson, a school board member. "The developer gets to win. The county gets to win. And of course, the kids win. I applaud the developer because he's showing you can do well, and at the same time, do good."
The school will offer the county's first elementary school version of the prestigious International Baccalaureate program.
The Brockbridge PTA presented a petition in support of the project to the board. Parents and teachers from Brockbridge, which is an open-space school, have lobbied the school board to enclose the walls, arguing the school's crowding exacerbates the difficulties of an open-space school.
The superintendent also unveiled a $169 million capital budget proposal - about $38 million more than the school system received for construction projects this year - at the recent school board meeting.
On Maxwell's wish list is $32.3 million for the revitalization of Northeast High School, funding for construction projects at eight elementary schools and funding for preliminary design work at another six elementary schools and Severna Park High School.
Capital budget proposals
School Project 2011 construction funding request Overall project cost
Overlook Elementary Revitalization $6,710,000 $70,410,000
Pershing Hill Elementary Replacement $4,745,000 $75,155,000
Belle Grove Elementary Modernization $6,370,000 $81,525,000
Germantown Elementary Replacement $15,241,000 $96,766,000
Folger McKinsey Elementary Revitalization $6,318,000 $103,084,000
Point Pleasant Elementary Revitalization $11,960,000 $115,044,000
Northeast High Revitalization $32,320,000 $147,364,000
Phoenix Annapolis Modernization (at Germantown) $1,246,063 $148,610,063
Annapolis Elementary Revitalization $411,792 $149,021,855
Lothian Elementary Feasibility study/design $1,025,000 $150,046,855
Crofton Elementary Feasibility study/design $1,126,000 $151,172,855
Mills-Parole Elementary Feasibility study/design $1,019,000 $152,191,855
Rolling Knolls Elementary Feasibility study/design $1,010,000 $153,201,855
Benfield Elementary Feasibility study/design $1,012,000 $154,213,855
West Annapolis Elementary Feasibility study/design $853,000 $155,066,855
Severna Park High Feasibility study/design $740,000 $161,806,855