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$300,000 earmarked for Towson High site improvements

When students arrive back at Towson High in August for another year of classes, they'll arrive at a fresh and improved parking lot off the school's Cedar Avenue entrance.

Pete Dixit, executive director of physical facilities for BCPS, said Thursday that $300,000 was earmarked from the fiscal year 2013 budget for site improvements at Towson High, an issue community members have long sought to have addressed.

The specifics of the project are still being developed, but Dixit said the Cedar Avenue driveway and parking lot will be paved, and new curbs, gutters and stormwater management will be installed. Sidewalks will be improved and made compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"All of this work — whatever we can include in that $300,000 — should be done this summer," Dixit said. "What we're not doing is Aigburth Road. We just don't have enough funds for that, so when we get funds in the future, we'll take care of that part."

Community leaders and school advocates have long fought for site improvements at the school.

"We've been pushing for this for a number of years," Councilman David Marks, who represents Towson, said. "There is a sense that Towson High School is a very old building. We've made substantial improvements to the elementary and middle schools, but we also need to focus on upgrades to the high school wherever possible."

The Towson High Sports Boosters are also raising money to improve the school's athletic fields, which are battered from overuse by recreational and high school sports.

"In the meantime, I'm happy we got this bit of funding for exterior improvements," Marks said.

Principal Charlene DiMino, who is in her first year at Towson High, said the fundraising for a new field, as well as efforts by parents to take on tasks such as repainting the school's scoreboard, is reflective of the school community's ambition and passion for Towson high.

"I think one of the most impressive things thus far, has been the diligence of the parents and community here trying to enhance the aesthetic property of the building," she said. "Ultimately, it is their and our desire to emulate the excellence that goes on within the building on the outside."

She said news of the improvements hadn't yet reached much of the school community, but she credited those who advocated for the improvements with their dedication.

"Any improvement we can move forward with is a positive," she said. "I attribute it to the steadfast dedication to following up, making inquiries with local offices. Right now, our parents are really invested in move forward with some improvements on our facilities."

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