Relief is on the way for overcrowded schools in Baltimore County

New middle school part of Kamenetz's budget plan
Posted at 5:18 PM, Apr 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-12 17:43:31-04

More then 200 extra students are packed into Perry Hall Middle School, and district enrollment projections only show the numbers going up.

"You can't even get to your lockers in time so you have to carry your backpack full of your books because they can't get to their lockers in between classes,” said Baltimore County parent Adrienne Evans.  “They're so overcrowded that there's just no room for them to move."

By 2019, the amount of students stuffed into the building and added trailers is expected to soar to nearly 500 students above capacity.

RELATED: Parents upset about overcrowding in Perry Hall schools

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced plans this week to alleviate that overcrowding.

"With this budget we'll be announcing funding to initiate a process to build a brand new middle school in Perry Hall and also an addition at Pine Grove in Carney creating an additional 1,700 middle school seats," he said.

The new building will have space for 1,500 students, and the extension being added to pine grove middle school will hold up to 300 seats. Construction on the projects is expected to start in 2019, with the new school and the addition at Pine Grove ready to go two years later.

News both parents and local lawmakers are happy to hear.

"This has been my top priority in the northeast, but it's been a priority for almost everyone out here,” Baltimore County councilman David Marks said. “School overcrowding has really plagued this community for more than 20-years and I’m very happy we're finally getting our hands around this situation."

"I'm a therapist and I have a lot of clients that have come to me with anxiety, that are dealing with the hallways and crowds and kids not being supervised appropriately at lunches, and stuff like that,” said parent Kristi Thralkill. “So I think it's a good thing."

"This area, we just keep getting more and more kids and we needed another school,” Evans said.  “So I think it's fabulous, we definitely need it."

The proposal is the latest part of Kamenetz's $1.3 billion Schools for Our Future program. It launched in 2011 with a goal of addressing the district's rising enrollment and aging infrastructure.  

Kamenetz will present his budget to the Baltimore County Council Thursday morning.


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