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School Officials Present Mays Chapel School Site Plan

The new school could open by 2014.

Baltimore County schools officials on Tuesday evening presented new details of the planned new elementary school in Mays Chapel, which, thanks to a prototype design, could welcome its first student in 2014.

Michael Sines, the executive director of the system's office of physical facilities, and Ken Jones, an architect with Grimm and Parker, gave the Baltimore County Board of Education a presentation Sines said was driven by .

"This is a step that we've never taken before, to be before the board at this stage of a project, because of the sensitivity that has taken place the last several months," he told the board.

, residents spoke out for and against the new school. Some residents feel that the new school would disrupt their use of what's now open space.

The long-planned new school would add capacity to the York Road corridor, where schools in Towson, Lutherville and Timonium face overcrowding issues and have all been the subject of renovation and expansion plans in recent years.

The 700-seat school will be built in the southwest corner of the 16 1/2-acre plot off Roundwood Road. The school building and parking lot will make up about seven to eight acres of new development. Improvements include a walking path around the new fields.

"The devil's in the details," said Eric Rockel, president of the Greater Timonium Community Council and a longtime opponent of the new school. "The entire site that's going to be cleared is 16 1/2 acres, which is not what was represented before."

The plan "preserves and enhances the existing fields" in Mays Chapel, according to a school system presentation.

Check out a copy of the school system's presentation attached to this story.

"As the community drives around Roundwood Road, they still perceive the presense of a park around that road," Jones said.

Officials plan to follow an accelerated construction that could see the new school completed by May of 2014. Early construction work could begin as soon as next spring. Architects would use an improved prototype design fromin White Marsh, which opened in 2008.

"The principal walked us through there, told us what she liked, what could be improved, and we've taken all that into consideration," Jones said.

Like Vincent Farm, the building will include copious amounts of natural light, geothermal heating and other features in line with LEED silver standards. The installation of pipes for the geothermal heating will require crews to dig up the play fields at Mays Chapel, but Sines said improved fields will be installed.

JDStuts May 23, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Looks good to me! Let's start turning dirt.
Doug Evans May 23, 2012 at 07:23 PM
I am so tired of hearing complaints from the Mays Chapel-area residents. This land has been set aside for a school for many years. The County was good enough to allow recreational use on the land in the interim period. The message that the Mays Chapel-area residents are sending County officials is to put a fence around any green space that is destined for future development so that citizens will not have access and enjoy the space for the time that the space remains undeveloped.
Ed May 24, 2012 at 03:12 AM
The evil streak in me says Recreation and Parks should ask for the fields to be lighted so the site can be used until 9 or 10 each night for soccer, lacrosse and such. Would serve the whiners right!
Dan May 25, 2012 at 06:40 AM
Whiners? Hmm. Let's see. We have a signed covenant - you know, worthless politician's promise - that Keelty will give the land to us "citizens of the county" for open space, not for a school. This was done during PUD's development, presumably to grease the skids. Much later, and without telling anyone in the community, the county quietly changed the planned use. When we presented these facts and documents to the County Board of Ed they were. nonplussed, surprised, and, evidently, dismissive of the rather inconvenient document. So, if you are all for the standard lying and broken promises that characterize land use in Baltimore County, then by all means feel free to label the people who live here as whiners - it certainly helps move the discussion in a Fox-like direction. The more you know...
Maureen Kelly June 15, 2012 at 03:16 PM
The destruction of the last bit of forest for a school that could be built at the Dulaney Springs site which has no trees, is horrible. The very beauty of this area was based on the forest, and as more and more is developed the reason for coming is being lost. Enjoy it now, because shortly you might as well be living in Baltimore City!

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