September 26, 2017
Politics & Opinion
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School Construction

County Executive Steve Schuh
County Executive Steve Schuh's picture
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September 6, 2017

Three years ago, we promised a major acceleration in our county’s school construction efforts, and it is a promise we have kept.

We are now far along in the largest school construction effort in county history. In the current six-year plan, we have allocated $764 million to school construction, up 29 percent from four years ago. This school construction program includes $300 million in support of eight elementary school projects. We are providing construction funds for two new replacement schools in Jessup and in Arnold; renovation funds for High Point, Manor View and George Cromwell; and design funds for Edgewater, Tyler Heights and Richard Henry Lee. The capital budget also includes development and construction funds for the new Crofton High School — the first all-new high school in the county in 35 years on which we will break ground this winter.

These capital projects were made possible through the JumpStart Anne Arundel capital project financing program. Enacted in 2015, the capital plan embraces a 30-year bond financing option. This reform has allowed Anne Arundel County to expand its capital funding program and make critical school, public safety, road and quality-of-life infrastructure improvements from Brooklyn Park to Pasadena to Annapolis to Odenton. I am grateful for the support from Councilmen Michael Peroutka and Derek Fink in helping ensure we can eliminate our nearly $1 billion school infrastructure backlog that has afflicted our county for decades.

Residents across our county are starting to take note of our progress. On the Broadneck peninsula at Arnold Elementary, we are well underway on a project that has been years in the making. The $41 million, 89,000-square-foot new school will serve more than 550 students and was desperately needed by the community. Drainage issues, substandard teaching spaces and other concerns led concerned parents like Kerry Petz, the head of the PTA at the time, to approach the Board of Education and the county about a replacement school. Her advocacy, and the advocacy of countless others, made their dream a reality.

It is an exciting time as we work to create a better educational infrastructure for the next generation of Anne Arundel County citizens. I look forward to the progress and to the many groundbreakings ahead.


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