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BLOG: Severna Park High School Still on Track

At last night's Board of Education Meeting the Board voted to approve the schematic design for Severna Park High School and Councilman Walker speaks out in support of the school.

At last night's Board of Education Meeting the Board members listened to the design team explain to them the reason - again - why the 50+ year old school needs to be replaced.   Then with a vote of 6 in favor, 1 abstaining and 1 against, they voted to approve the schematic design and recommended the schedule to remain the same.  One member was absent.  The one vote against was Mr. Peterson, abstaining was the student member.

To my delight Councilman Jerry Walker was the first to speak in support of keeping the high school in the County's Capital Budget with the possibility that the County Council will move the project up contingent on funding.  This testimony on the part of Councilman Walker should be a relief to parents in Severna Park who may have been concerned about Dick Ladd's recent vote for the Council District 1 seat and how that might have impacted our school. 

The following is what Mr. Walker told the Board of Education last night:

"Recently at the request of my colleague Councilman Dick Ladd I had the opportunity to tour Severna Park High School.  Patrick Bathras, Alex, Amalie and Councilman Ladd showed me the condition of the school and explained how the age of the school impacts the instruction of students who are on their way to colleges and universities across the US.

At the council we have been having informal discussions about the broader policy of school construction and I believe there is traction around the larger policy of trying to always keep one High School in process while wrapping Elementary Schools like Edgewater, Crofton, and Lothian in and around the High Schools. We are anxiously awaiting news from the state regarding school construction dollars and if we receive the anticipated funding I feel I can say with confidence that you will see some minor alterations to the sequence of elementary schools that we passed in last years budget and I feel very confident that you will see SPHS moved forward in the budget during the upcoming council budget meetings. This represents a shift forward for the Severna Park community and it's serendipitous that you are voting on the design tonight at this meeting.  As a result of the pending vote we have many Severna Park residents and the SPHS Principal present to hear this announcement for the first time.

Obviously we have not voted and the budget is not finalized but I thought it was important to keep you in the loop on our informal conversations about school construction policy and to let you know that we are very concerned about this important aspect of our children's education. I would like to applaud my colleague Councilman Ladd for raising the issue of this broader policy and I look forward to future ongoing discussions between the Board and members of our council."

Councilman Walker forwarded his written testimony at my request so that I could include it in my blog today.  I thought this information would be good news for the community. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Leslie Hunt March 22, 2012 at 04:14 PM
DioDingo- Here's a link to the community meeting in January http://severnapark.patch.com/articles/severna-park-high-school-modernization-plans-underway and also the modernization plan: http://www.aacps.org/admin/templates/fyi_front.asp?articleid=299&zoneid=16
Bob Mosier March 22, 2012 at 04:59 PM
The schematic design approved by the Board on March 21 is online, as are all documents from Board meetings. Those interested can go to www.aacps.org and click on Board Docs under the Board of Education tab. From there, select the date of the meeting you'd like to view, and then the agenda item. Bob Mosier Public Information Officer Anne Arundel County Public Schools
Patrick Mondor March 22, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Bob, Just read the January 2012 Construction Report. My AACPS is quite busy! Really impressed that AACPS has been aggressive in pursuing these efforts. Also really appreciate the planning and effort being undertaken to revitalize the schools of the county. I tend to think (since I was one of them before the report) that many parents across the county are unaware of the large scope of projects underway and in the planning stages in an effort to make AA schools top notch! Great job and many thanks from an AACPS parent!
Bob Mosier March 22, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Anyone who is interested can always access the quarterly Construction Status Report on our website, www.aacps.org. There is a standing link in the For Your Information box in the middle of the front page. Bob Mosier Public Information Officer Anne Arundel County Public Schools
Leslie Brown March 23, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Thank you for following up on this topic! Very pleased to hear that Councilman Walker is on board!

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