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Interim Superintendent Presents Capital Budget Proposal

Posted: September 11th, 2017

Plan Moves Up Opening of 13th High School; Prioritizes New Career Development Center for Middle and High Schools and Creation of Elementary Language Immersion Centers

Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) Interim Superintendent Dr. Michael J. Martirano unveiled his proposed Capital Budget for fiscal year 2018–2019 (FY 2019), FY 2020-2024 Capital Improvement Program and FY 2019-2028 Long-Range Master Plan for the Howard County Public School System. The proposal was presented at the Board of Education meeting on Monday, September 11, 2017.

The proposed $79.7 Capital Budget represents a $14.4 million increase over FY 2018. Together, the Capital Budget, $616 million Capital Improvement Program and $1.3 billion Long-Range Master Plan support Dr. Martirano’s Strategic Call to Action to build an inclusive, nurturing environment and close opportunity gaps, while addressing projected student capacity and existing facility needs to support the rapid growth in enrollment that is projected to add nearly 10,000 additional students to the system over the next ten years.

The Capital Budget planning process links capital planning with attendance area planning and addresses long-range needs identified in the annual Feasibility Study. It adds improvements and capacity where they are most urgently needed to relieve overcrowded classrooms, ensures the equitable allocation of high-quality instructional resources, and incorporates priorities identified by parents, staff, county government leaders and community members.

Major items included in the FY19 budget proposal include costs associated with locating and constructing a new 13th county high school, now scheduled to open in August 2022, two years earlier than was originally planned. The accelerated timeframe was made possible through collaboration with Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman and the County’s Budget Office.

Other costs cover the final phase of construction of New Elementary School #42, scheduled to open in Elkridge in August 2018, and an addition to increase school capacity at Waverly Elementary School. The proposal also includes funding for systemic renovations, which include replacements and upgrade of rooftops and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems at several schools.

The proposed Long-Range Master Plan includes a new Middle and High School Career Development Center that would replace the existing Applications and Research Laboratory.

The confluence of the Capital Improvement Program development and Attendance Area Adjustment processes provided a unique opportunity to alleviate school overcrowding through creative and innovative approaches instead of a broad-scale boundary line adjustment. The proposed budget, in conjunction with a multi-year boundary adjustment plan, will gradually level capacity utilization among schools over several years, while dedicating financial resources to give every student access to the high quality educational opportunities that lead to lifelong success.

As a result, the proposal alleviates overcrowding at the elementary school level in the near term while providing capacity for the development of a new Elementary Regional Language Immersion Schools Program, through a planned addition to Clarksville Elementary School and construction of the Talbott Springs Elementary School Replacement and New Elementary School #43.

The Board has scheduled a public hearing, work session and approval of its FY 2019 Capital Budget and FY 2020-2024 Capital Improvement Program proposal for its September 19, 2017 meeting.