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No Timeline for Air Conditioning Priority List

Schools officials caution that air conditioning plans for county school are contingent on funding.

The school system recently released a priority list for schools not immediately slated for air conditioning, but there's no telling when the projects will be completed.

In fact, even schools currently on the system's radar may be in trouble.

"It's all dependent on if we get funding," said Michael Sines, chief operations officer for Baltimore County Public Schools, following a Wednesday night Board of Education meeting.

If proper funding is received, the slated schools would received air conditioning by the 2015-2016 school, Sines said. The 46 schools on the priority list, which the system primarily ranked by age, will receive short term cooling relief by the 2013-2014 school year.

School officials said at the meeting that the total cost of funding all schools would be between $470 million to $600 million, with elementary schools costing an estimated average of $8 million, middle schools an average of $10-14 million and high schools an average of $20-25 million. The short term fixes would cost between $340,000 to $550,000 for those on the list, with elementary schools averaging an estimated $5,000 to $10,000, middle schools $10,000 to $15,000 and high schools $15,000 to $20,000.

However, officials noted that the priority list may be adjusted on a year to year basis as schools continue to get inspected and needs change.

The Board of Education plans to vote on a resolution advocating for air conditioning funds from the state and county at its Oct. 9 meeting. The motion to approve a formalized statement was made by board member David Uhlfelder, a member at large. 

After the meeting, Lutherville Laboratory Elementary School parents praised Superintendent S. Dance's quick action on addressing the air conditioning issues.

"He genuinely cares about our children," Helen Clark said. "We applaud him and his team."

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John September 20, 2012 at 01:48 PM
At the schools where there is no AC for the students, shut off the air conditioners in the offices. Then you'll hear more complaining.
Meg O'Hare September 20, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Actions speak louder than words. Your county government = school boatd did not have air conditioning as a priority when Baltimore County and State of MD were well off fiscally in the 1990s. Baltimore County was building elementary schools (e.g., Seven Oaks and Joppview Elementary Schools). Where is the outrage of the Ridgeley Middle School parents now that Ridgely Middle School is air conditioned?
Meg O'Hare September 20, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Building elemenary school without air conditioning in the 1990's was just plain wrong. Air conditioning is a 20th century amenity and Baltimore Countt was building schools without air conditioning fewer than 10 years from the beginning of the 21st century. There is no money in Baltimore County to air condition these schools. There is no money for pensions. There is no money. Why even talk about priority list for air conditiining in Baltimore County Public Schools. All the Board of Education = Baltimore County government is doing about this is pandering to the public.
Tim September 20, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Agreed. They do have to come up with a list like this though. The county (or any organization) needs to have a plan of action in place for if/when funding comes into play. In the longer term, I suspect we'll see some funding though. Remember though that most education funding comes from the state, though. (someone correct me, if I'm wrong). It's also a good sign when you see our state comptroller at the forefront of this problem. Because you know...he has a little financial pull in funding allocation. This has become a hot button issue over the past several months and as this is my #1 personal issue with the county (my kid is in an air conditioned school, so I have no direct skin in this), I'm taking some enjoyment out of seeing this issue being blown up and seeing not just the county but the state waking up and finally seeing the misdeeds of numerous administrations before the current one.
Budget Guy September 20, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Over the last five years, state funding for the BCPS capital budget - where air conditioning projects are paid for - has ranged from $26.4M to $46.2 while County funding has ranged from $26.1M to $104.5M. With the exception of FY13 at $26.M, though, the county ususally provides 2-3 times the amount of funding than the state on an annual basis. See this link for my source: http://www.bcps.org/board/budget
Lablover September 20, 2012 at 04:50 PM
There is no money in Baltimore County to air condition these schools. There is no money for pensions. There is no money. There's money for the county officials who will receive two pensions, KK, Gardina, Jablon, and Moxley.
Tim September 20, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Budget Guy: Thanks for correcting me on that.
Gregg Roberts September 21, 2012 at 11:40 AM
I'm sorry I was looking for the Perry Hall, USA blog. This must be for Perry Hall in the third world. No air conditioning in schools. Even in Cuba they have that. This is just unbelievable.
James Edwards September 21, 2012 at 01:11 PM
The general state of our school infrastructure in this county is inexcusable. Mr. Hohman needs to step down! Money in this county has been spent for many years on lavish pensions, perks and deals for shady developers. We have a Triple A bond rating but Baltimore County is losing the battle every day attracting middle class taxpayers. Many pick Harford, Howard, and Carroll over us! Ask these leaders where their kids go to school, they all use private schools. No wonder they don't give a crap.

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