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Timonium Residents Oppose Mays Chapel Option for New Elementary School

A 700-seat school in the Lutherville area is slated as a top priority for 2013.

Board members of the Greater Timonium Community Council are taking a stand against a in the Mays Chapel area.

Members voted Wednesday night to draft position letters to the Board of Education, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and other elected officials because they believe construction would impinge on the only open space in the area.

There are currently two options for construction sites for a new elementary school in the Timonium area: Mays Chapel and Dulaney Springs. (See photos.) The purpose of a new elementary school would be to .

GTCC president Eric Rockel said the letter would suggest alternatives to constructing an elementary school on what he considers a tiny plot of land at 20 acres. 

“That is the most important parcel in terms of open space in all of Mays Chapel,” Rockel said. “We’re in a situation now where funds are tight for everything. … Part of my argument is going to have, have you really examined additions for other schools?”

Rockel said a group consensus had not been reached on the Dulaney Springs location. The group has fought the Board of Education, who owns both tracts of land, on this issue before. The issue was argued at the county level. 

"We argued this issue before in 2007 and the County made its ultimate decision not to proceed in early 2008," Rockel wrote in a follow-up email. "I do give Jim Smith credit for realizing that the proposal from the Board of Education did not make fiscal sense, in addition to the political ramifications of getting the mays Chapel community upset."

Baltimore County Public Schools spokesman Charles Herndon said that nothing has been finalized and both sites should only be considered as options. 

A report submitted to the Baltimore County Board of Education on Sept. 20 outlines enrollment capacity issues and possible solutions. (You can read the full report here.)

From the report:

"... current relief strategies at these schools include alternate use of classroom space, use of relocatable classrooms, movement of programs such as pre-kindergarten, and capital construction (Hampton and Stoneleigh). Balancing enrollment among the elementary schools in this region is clearly not feasible because there is no sufficient capacity in any of the schools in the region to satisfy the need. Therefore, as recommended in the FY13 Capital Improvement Plan, a 700 seat new elementary school is proposed to meet the clear need for capacity among these schools. The Board of Education owns two school sites in the region that will be examined for suitability: Mays Chapel and Dulaney Springs."

Mary Yingling October 13, 2011 at 05:05 PM
"Mays Chapel Elementary School" has been in the works for over 10 years - just look at any old ADC map book! More and more land is being developed for housing for us "baby boomers", but what about our grandchildren who are already in over-crowded schools?? I say let the "boomers" find their own housing & build more schools for our children and grandchildren!!
Jean Suda October 14, 2011 at 12:28 PM
"Mays Chapel Elementary School" was on the ADC map book 20 years ago in 1991 when I thought my now 23-year-old daughter would be able to attend a brand new elementary school by the time she was ready for kindergarten. Instead she attended Pinewood Elem. which back then was over capacity and in process of adding a new modular wing to the original school. The Mays Chapel area, including the Roundwood shopping center was just beginning to be developed. I welcomed our new neighbors and the shopping center back then. I am for building a school. The playing fields would be incorporated into the school grounds as they are at Pinewood Elem., Hampton Elem. Lutherville Elem. etc. Recreation and schools have been combined for a long time in the area. The walking path could probably remain as well. There are also open courtyard spaces across from the Senior Independent and Assisted Living buildings behind Roundwood shopping center. And the two swim clubs off Padonia Road in the area provide recreation space for families as well, albeit at a private fee. It seems the residents of Mays Chapel will rue the day that the much smaller school proposed in 2007 was not approved. The overcrowding in BCPS schools must be addressed. Our future quality of life and residential property values depend on it.

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