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Stoneleigh Elementary Jumps Up School Construction Priority List

The school board released a new list ahead of its meeting next week.

Stoneleigh Elementary parents are hailing what looks to them like another step in the right direction.

Renovations at the school, which last year were at No. 23 on a list of the school system's capital budget priorities, came in at No. 5 this year. It is the top project not to have previously received state construction funds. The list will be officially introduced in the Baltimore County Board of Education's meeting on Aug. 9.

Juliet Fisher, a parent who leads , said she is cautiously optimistic.

"I probably won't feel 100 percent comfortable that we're getting a new addition and renovation until we're breaking ground on the addition and renovation," she said.

Under the school system's recommended timeline outlined with the list, the 200-seat addition at Stoneleigh could be completed during the 2013 fiscal year.

Stoneleigh is one of the most crowded schools in Baltimore County. The 81-year-old school began last school year with 629 students, against a capacity of 499.

Even though the school is now much higher on the county's priority list, that status comes with no guarantees, and Fisher said parents shouldn't become complacent.

"It's still not [certain] in these difficult budgetary times that it's a guarantee that we'll get funding," she said. However, "I think it's extremely important and hopeful that we moved up to No. 5 and it's obviously a project that the school board is showing their commitment to."

At its July 12 meeting, the school board approved a $1 million contract with the Towson firm Rubeling and Associates to design the renovation and addition at Stoneleigh.

"I think it's good they moved up the list," said County Councilman David Marks, who has lobbied the board to speed up the process.

Marks said he was surprised by one addition to the list: funding for a new school in the Lutherville area is listed at No. 7. He surmised that the new school could reduce stress on According to the school system, Riderwood operated with 528 students last year. Its capacity is 463.

"I don't know where they would put that [new school], to be very frank," Marks said.

The board's meeting on August 9 begins at 7 p.m. in the Education Support Services building at the . The public is invited to attend.

Jimmy August 04, 2011 at 10:13 PM
What are the number 1 to 4 priorities? Is Perry Hall HS in that list at all? An another school in Towson...I guess I know where all our support goes. Is Mr Marks following in the footsteps of Mr Gardina? When is Perry Hall going to get some relief in school over crowding?
Tyler Waldman August 04, 2011 at 10:59 PM
Hi Jimmy, The list is attached with this article (check under PDF's below the picture). I don't know about the situation with Perry Hall High, but projects at Parkville HS, Overlea HS and Parkville MS are on the list.
Jimmy August 04, 2011 at 11:25 PM
Thanks for pointing the list out Tyler. PHHS is not on the list. Surprise, Surprise! The problem is and has been for years, Perry Hall HS has the largest student body in the county. It doesn't have a cafeteria large enough to accomodate all the students safely. It has somewhere around 12 to 16 trailers for temporary classrooms. I don't know what the county calls temporary, but they have been there as long as I can remember. A couple of years ago, there was talk of putting an addition onto Loch Raven HS because they recently needed ONE trailer! I believe that trailer is gone now. Why has PHHS been ignored for so long? They are still building houses in the district. Does the county think only those with no children will buy these houses?
David Marks September 16, 2011 at 11:38 PM
Jimmy, I worked for nearly a decade to get land dedicated for a new high school in eastern Baltimore County. I don't recall your involvement, but then again, I don't know your last name. While I credit the previous administration for many things, I strongly disagreed with the decision not to use the hundreds of millions of dollars in surplus funding (at the time) to acquire the land for this site. We still need that land preserved, but the enrollment trends actually show overcrowding lessening in the northeast; it is getting far worse in the central part of Baltimore County. I represent all communities in the Fifth District, and during this period when we have little money, I am going to prioritize what schools are overcrowded the most.

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