13 Baltimore County schools to begin year without A/C

Posted at 11:17 PM, Aug 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-23 13:31:35-04

At the last Baltimore County Board of Education meeting before the school year, officials gave an update on the air conditioning situation.

Operations Chief Kevin Smith says that when students return, only 13 schools will be without A/C. That's down from 37 at the start of last year, when 4 days of school were cancelled because of the heat.

"The remaining 22 schools that we had on that list to get us down from 90 to 13 schools have been completed and will be ready to go for the start of the school year," Smith said.

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Aside from Franklin High and Kenwood High, the remaining schools are either being renovated or replaced entirely.

"This is a real sign of progress. It’s something the county put a lot of money into and it’s clearly paying off," said Councilman David Marks.

Now, Marks are others are turning their attention to replacing high schools like Towson, which are aging.

"Currently it’s overcrowded. The building itself is crumbling," said Melissa Baker, who came to the Board meeting to lobby for Towson's replacement. She says to keep up with the times, the Board needs to start planning now.

"If Baltimore County wants to be competitive with the surrounding jurisdictions, they have to bring their buildings up to snuff. They have to bring the buildings into the 21st century," she said.

Currently, the Board is deciding what to ask the state for help with. Elementary Schools are now the focus along with a new Middle School, according to officials. Smith says, this year, he and his team plan to start studying how to move forward with County high schools as the population continues to grow.

We have a growing locality. We grow by 1200 students each year. That is a good part of a very vibrant and exciting place to live in Baltimore County," he said.

Baltimore County students head back to school after Labor Day, on Sept. 5.