On Tuesday night, parents cheered when the Baltimore County Board of Education did not make a motion to vote on a contract that would have provided $40 million for limited renovations to Dulaney High School. Instead, the crowd wanted that money put toward a brand new school instead of a band-aid solution.
“Dulaney High School is falling apart and it's up to us as community leaders, the school board, and the advocates to make sure we fight for what's right for Dulaney High School. We do not want a band-aid, we want a new school,” said Hope Mims, president of the PTSA at Dulaney High School.
The school, built in the 60's, lacks air conditioning and requires repairs to the roof, lighting, windows, and other structural systems.
While advocates for a new school feel they scored a victory, the no vote could mean no money for Dulaney High School.
A spokeswoman for Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz sent ABC2 this statement:
“We are going to move ahead with our comprehensive plan to construct schools in other parts of the county. As much as we would like, we simply cannot afford a new Dulaney High School at a cost of $135 million as opposed to a $40 million comprehensive renovation,” said Ellen Kobler with Baltimore County Government.
She added that the $40 million set aside for Dulaney High School will now go toward moving up elementary school construction projects already in the works.
Baltimore County Councilman David Marks was disappointed and frustrated that there was no mention of supplying funding to two aging and overcrowded schools in his district.
“My principal concern was how that money that was going to go to Dulaney, was then reallocated. I represent the most overcrowded high school in Baltimore County, Towson [High School], and the largest middle school in Baltimore County, [Perry Hall Middle School], we need help too,” Marks said.
And even though the Board’s action could mean a longer fight for those pushing for a new school, Mims said she’s not concerned about the millions taken off the table in a matter of minutes.
“The situation is not going away, it's not. We're going to continue what we've been doing, we're going to continue talking with [Kamenetz], we're going to continue talking to the school board - they absolutely support us, so we definitely want to make sure we continue doing all of those things. We're going to get what we need for Dulaney High School,” Mims said.
The Board also put on hold a nearly $34 million dollar to renovate Lansdowne High School. Kobler said the county will consider a new bid for Lansdowne “to ensure that the renovation will be as comprehensive as we had always planned.”
On Tuesday, the Board approved a $32.4 million contract for limited renovations to Patapsco High School, and a $37.8 million contract for renovations at Woodlawn High School.