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Loch Raven Village residents protest outside Balto. Co. Board of Education

Dozens of Loch Raven Village residents protested outside the Baltimore County Board of Education meeting Tuesday evening, hours before the board was scheduled to vote on a proposal that would reopen a school in their neighborhood.

The proposal, one of several short-term overcrowding solutions across the county scheduled to be voted on tonight as part of the capital budget plan. It includes a renovation at Loch Raven Elementary in Loch Raven Village to house the students currently at Halstead Academy, plus an addition at Cromwell Valley Elementary and a renovation of Halstead Academy to house a future magnet program.

Students from Loch Raven Village would remain at Pleasant Plains Elementary, while students from Halstead Academy would be bused to the school in Loch Raven Village. The old Loch Raven Elementary building, which was closed 31 years ago, currently houses recreation programs.

Residents of Loch Raven Village contend that despite a months-long public input process on how to alleviate overcrowding in the York Road corridor, they weren’t involved in the process until after the plan was decided upon.

The protesters, who began to gather on a sidewalk on the Greenwood Campus around 4:30 p.m., carried signs and chanted, “Loch Raven Village had no voice, now we have no choice.”

“We got together as residents and made a decision that we needed to stand up for ourselves,” Pam Wetherbee-Metcalf, a Loch Raven Village resident and mother of two, said at the protest.

Around 100 residents attended an emergency meeting last night, Wetherbee-Metcalf said, and decided on the rally ahead of the school board meeting.

“We want the board to delay the decision about the proposal if it’s being made tonight, so we as stakeholders receive due process,” Wetherbee-Metcalf said.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the BCPS Greenwood Campus.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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