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Proposed Budget Includes Edgewater Elementary Study

The feasibility study would examine potential options to renovate, modernize or add to the local elementary school.

Anne Arundel County Schools Superintendent Kevin Maxwell’s fiscal year 2014 capital budget proposes that a feasibility study be conducted for  School in 2016 to examine the physical state of the school and conceive a plan for future additions or renovations.

Ever since a county Board of Education hearing in January where , local parents have been calling for the board to make serious improvements at the school.

Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) sent an and helped oversee maintenance upgrades to equipment at Edgewater Elementary.

Last year, Maxwell proposed that Edgewater Elementary undergo a feasibility study in 2016 to pursue possible modernizations, revitalizations or replacements.

However, after adopting that plan and sending it to the county council, was nowhere to be found in the final budget approved by County Executive John Leopold.

The study would initially cost about $2.8 million in 2016, according to AACPS budget documents. But since feasibility studies are not eligible for state funding, the county must front the bill entirely.  

AACPS spokesman Bob Mosier described feasibility studies as an examination of a five-option plan to renovate a school, ranging in severity and cost. After such a study, the Board of Education then decides which plan of action is best for the facility, its students and the school system.

“What it does is it takes a look at what would be necessary to accomplish each [of the five options], the projected cost and what you’d gain in terms of space or other amenities.” Mosier said.

According to AACPS budget documents, a feasibility study examines the cost and benefits of the following options:

  • Do nothing—A no cost option where no work occurs on site or in the building. This option is used to establish a baseline for comparison to other schemes.
  • Patch and Paint—This minimum approach repairs maintenance items and provides a fresh coat of paint to the facility. Building systems are not updated or replaced and no site improvements occur. Students remain in school while maintenance work is conducted.
  • Revitalization—This option addresses building and life safety issues in existing school buildings. Additions may be constructed to provide new spaces and some portions of the school may be demolished. Renovations are conducted without making significant structural changes despite possible demolitions.
  • Modernization—This option represents a complete renovation of existing buildings and additions, addressing all building and life safety issues.
  • Replacement—This option provides a completely new facility designed in accordance with Educational Specifications to comply with building, life safety, and accessibility codes and standards. Students remain in the existing building during construction of an entirely new building.

Edgewater Elementary PTA president Jenny Corkill has spearheaded the effort to get the school higher up on the list of schools to be renovated and said she doesn’t expect the feasibility study to occur in 2016.

“We know the Board of Education can propose anything, but as we saw last year … a feasibility study for Edgewater is not likely and certainly not in 2016,” Corkill said.

With a current enrollment of 515 students, the number puts more pressure on the existing building, Corkill added.   

As it currently stands, Maxwell’s capital budget proposal would have the county provide $2.8 million for the feasibility study in 2016, followed by more than $34 million for construction or potential renovations from 2017-2019.

With the county council slated to finalize all budgets for fiscal year 2014 in May 2013, the next eight months will determine whether Edgewater Elementary parents get what they want or will continue waiting. 

 

Editor's Note: This article has been adjusted to show Edgewater Elementary holds 515 students. 

Maryellen Brady September 16, 2012 at 07:30 AM
$2.6 mn dollars to STUDY how to upgrade an elementary school that has been serving the Edgewater community for over 50 years. Ludicrous. The school needs renovations. there was work done in the 80's. Can't believe they didn't get better AC. this isn't a new community. The neighborhoods served by EE are long standing, stable communities that pride themselves with keeping their kids in school. The idea, that the school board will spend that kind of money on the OBVIOUS, is what gives taxpayers the right to pause. We will have to get together and make sure we don't get put off again by 7th dist councilman Jerry Walker's, lives in Gambrills, inability to serve his South County constituency. He has a hard time grasping the importance of this project. And of course, remember a school bd member who expressed her own bias. She would send her child to EE trying to raise doubt about legitimate parental concerns about a sick school. The Homeowners ASSns have to lend their support to this effort. Our children are at risk and if that doesn't encourage you, perhaps, having the elementary school in a safe neighborhood close to home maintains property values.
Bob Mosier September 16, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Just to be clear, the $2.6 million in FY2016 in Superintendent Kevin Maxwell's proposed six-year Capital Improvement is funding both for a feasibility study and design for Edgewater Elementary. As the story states, the study looks at the five available options and the costs for each. When a feasibility study comes before the Board of Education, an option is chosen and design proceeds accordingly. The County Council has final line-item authority in the capital budget. This is unlike the operating budget. The Council can pick and choose which items it wishes to fund. Funding for Edgewater's feasibiliy study and design was contained in the six-year plan in the FY2013 budget request submitted by the Board to the County, but not contained in the final six-year plan adopted by the Council. Bob Mosier Public Information Officer Anne Arundel County Public Schools

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