The uncertain future of Dundalk Elementary School

Posted at 11:34 PM, May 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-24 23:34:47-04

It's a historic property that's seen thousands of kids graduate over its 92 years. Wednesday, Baltimore County school leaders and the Maryland Historical Trust heard community input about the future of Dundalk Elementary School.

The question now remains whether the school will be replaced or substantially renovated to become a 21st century school. Some worry change will disrupt its historic value.

"It's historic, I mean it's historic property and it's part of that heritage. We'd like to save the heritage," Rose Benton said.

Benton is just one of dozens of Dundalk residents concerned about the fate of the school. But even those in favor of keeping the historic elements intact, also agree the aging school needs an overhaul.

"The school definitely, if it's going to remain as a school, needs incredible upgrades, but part of that problem is because the county hasn't kept it up," Benton said.

School leaders are working with architects who've designed three different options for the school. Currently, officials are hoping for public comment to determine pros and cons for each, which is part of the review process mandated by the Maryland Historical Trust, since the building is on the National Register of Historic Properties.

"I'm here to support I guess building a new school. If we can take pieces of this building and incorporate it I'd be happy with that as well," said parent, Dominic Notaro.

Notaro said he's more concerned about having a 21st century school, not the building's historic appeal. 

"I'm not gung ho, like, let's knock this building down. I understand that it has historical value but if you've been in this building for any extended period of time you'd know that it's falling apart," Notaro said.

Baltimore County Public Schools would like to see a new school and the old one demolished, which is one of the options on the table. More public meetings are planned for later in the year.