"The fact of the matter is, this is a problem that's going to get worse and worse over the next couple years," Quirk said.

"And so we have to come up with a longer term solution," he said. "My philosophy is that a mobile trailer or an added mobile trailer is not a long-term solution."

He also stressed that the process is not immediate.

"This is not something that's going to be built overnight even under the best circumstances," Quirk said. "I think it's going to require even a bigger investment than what was originally thought."

Catonsville resident and former 1st District Councilwoman Berchie Manley said addressing crowding down the line is even more important than building a new elementary school now.

"I think Bloomsbury should be reopened as a middle school and certainly the school that is now serving as Catonsville Middle School could be reopened as an elementary school, which is what it was intended to be," Manley said.

There are 774 students at Catonsville Middle, a total that matches its capacity.

All five area elementary schools have enrollments over their designated capacity. Hillcrest is 149 students over, Johnnycake is 92, Westchester is 91, Westowne is 71 and Catonsville is 34.

"There may be overcrowding in the future because these older communities are seeing a transition from older citizens, like I am," the 84-year-old said.

The population shift that is crowding the elementary schools will eventually be felt in middle and high schools, Manley said, and those students will not want to be separated from their friends by potential redistricting.

"The children at Catonsville Elementary, at Hillcrest (Elementary), all of these parents want their children to go to Catonsville Middle," she said.

"There's a sense of security there. When you tear them away from their friends, they're upset by it," she said.

"It's absolutely a political decision as to where the seats are going to be placed and certainly Catonsville is entitled to have money spent where we can have a new middle school," Manley said.

Manley was one of a group of Catonsville parents who attempted to prevent the demolition of the Bloomsbury wings in the early 1990s.

"The people are recognizing that a mistake was made about 18 years ago," she said of closing Bloomsbury as a middle school.