Anne Arundel developer purchases land for school

Polm Cos. offered to build school as part of deal to develop homes in Laurel

March 03, 2011|By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun

The company seeking to develop a vacant property into residences on Brock Bridge Road in Laurel has purchased the land where it promised Anne Arundel County it would build a $32 million school at no cost to taxpayers, company officials said.

Andrew P. Zois, president of Severna Park-based Polm Cos., said that Polm completed the purchase Monday of property in the RiverWood community, adding that the purchase is further evidence of "how passionately committed we are to the project."

The company purchased the land, also on Brock Bridge Road, from the Laurel Moose Lodge for $2.5 million.

Polm Cos. has been working to build 1,000 homes on the Brock Bridge Road site since 2004 and recently offered to build the school as part of the deal, which needs county zoning approval to move forward. Polm officials said that pending zoning approval, construction of the school could begin as early as the summer.

Polm Cos. would build a 715-student, elementary-middle contract school that would serve students from kindergarten to eighth grade. The school would be run by Imagine Schools, an Arlington, Va.,-based organization that operates schools throughout the country, tailoring each to its particular community. Imagine would lease the space from Polm and the county would pay Imagine to run the school.

The proposed school, which would be called Imagine Global Village Academy, would alleviate overcrowding at aging Brock Bridge, Maryland City and Jessup elementary schools as well as address anticipated future attendance increases because of federal Base Realignment and Closure resettlement.

The project would include road improvements that would ease traffic and flooding in the area.

Because Imagine Global Village Academy would be a contract school, it would allow school officials to define its boundaries and alleviate crowding in the western portion of the county.

joseph.burris@baltsun.com

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