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Public Input Meeting Over New School Facility Scheduled for December

Baltimore County is requesting that the state convert nine acres of protected open space land to accommodate for a Mays Chapel Elementary School Recreation Center.

The Baltimore County Public Schools system has never consulted with the Department of Recreation and Parks regarding construction of a new school on protected open space land, until now, according to a public notice circulating community group stakeholders.

That could be a problem for the county, which is seeking to build a new 700 seat elementary school recreation center on Mays Chapel Park land, just off of Roundwood Road.

The proposed 9.16 acres of land that was approved as the site for the new school is currently protected by Maryland Program Open Space.

"As such, the County must request that the State of the Maryland consider approval of a POS 'conversion' to enable exchange of properties to permit the structure to be constructed where intended," according to a public notice from the Department of Recreation and Parks (see attached).

Part of the program's requirements include a mandate that "one or more meetings are held to answer the community's questions regarding the taking of POS funded property and the suitability of the replacement site," the notice continues.

Enter Save Mays Chapel Park—a group of local volunteers who have been rallying against construction of a new school on park land for months.

"Should the community sacrifice this park space, when other alternatives such as building school additions onto Lutherville, Padonia International and Pot Spring Elementary schools would leave the current student population at the schools they currently attend, in closer geographic proximity to their homes? You be the judge," Eric Rockel, Greater Timonium Community Council president, wrote in an email.

The meeting has been scheduled for Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Baltimore County Agricultural Center, 1114 Shawan Road, in Cockeysville.

Will you be in attendance?

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