The Baltimore County Board of Education unanimously approved Tuesday night Mays Chapel Park as the site for a new 700-seat elementary school.
Following another feasibility address by physical facilities executive director Michael Sines, board members took turns expressing their reasoning for supporting the construction amid disapproval from vocal Mays Chapel residents.
Chief among the supporters for new school construction was board president Lawerence Schmidt, who said a new school in Mays Chapel provided the long-term solution for addressing rampant overcrowding in the York Road corridor.
"Projections are that they will continue to be so," Schmidt said. "Baltimore County Public Schools has employed a number of relief strategies, including relocateables and trailers, as they're commonly known. Additionally, we've constructed West Towson Elementary School [and] we've added additions to Hampton and Stoneleigh...
"... The Mays Chapel site, in my mind, addresses the overcrowding issue as it offers a proper and strategic location for a new school," he continued.
Watch the video for a recap of the meeting and comments from Save Mays Chapel Park advocates.
The new school will cost between $20 and $24 million and is expected to be open in two or three years, reports Liz Bowie, of The Baltimore Sun.
The vote came less than 24 hours after a contentious public hearing at Loch Raven High School. The board strategically addressed concerns Tuesday that were repeatedly voiced throughout the hearing Monday—traffic issues, loss of open space, lack of young students in the Mays Chapel area.
The school will comprise less than half of the 20 acres of Mays Chapel Park, with hopes that construction will be aimed at preserving acreage for open space and recreation.
"I encourage Mr. Sines and his site design team to implement walking trails and other site elements that will make the property community-friendly," Schmidt said. "And when you come back to us Mr. Sines, I want to see that."
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