Carroll school facilities study nearing citizen input stage

Carroll County residents will have an opportunity to weigh in on a countywide school facilities study beginning in mid-October.

In a presentation to the Board of Education Wednesday, MGT of America Senior Partner Dodds Cromwell announced that community meetings will be held throughout the county Oct. 15, 16, 22, and 23 to solicit citizen input.

Carroll County Public Schools Superintendent Steve Guthrie said the results of this study could weigh on upcoming decisions by the Board of Education in regards to its Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and facilities master plan.

"This an opportunity for people to get involved at the ground floor," Guthrie said of citizen participation.

The Board of Education commissioned the study in the spring to look at the most effective and efficient use of school buildings this spring after it was originally assigned to school system staff.

The purpose of the report is to help staff decided whether they should consolidate facilities in upcoming years.

Board of Education President Barbara Shreeve said citizen input will be a "huge factor" in the study.

"I would just hope and encourage everybody to get the word out that they are going to be coming in October," Shreeve said.

In what was described as "community charettes," residents will be able share their opinions via an electronic study and small group discussions.

If residents cannot attend one of the community charettes, there will be an online community survey.

Community charettes are scheduled for:

• Oct. 15 - Century High School, 6 p.m.

• Oct. 16 - Francis Scott Key High School, 5 p.m.

• Oct. 22 - North Carroll High School, 6 p.m.

• Oct. 23 - Westminster High School, 6 p.m.

Each session is expected to take between an hour-and-a-half and two hours, according to Cromwell.

MGT began its study in July and is now in the process of traveling to each school before meeting with Board of Education members and members of the Board of Carroll County Commissioners. MGT has traveled to eight schools already this week, and expects to have its report filed in November or December, according to Cromwell.

"I was really impressed with not only how clean they (schools) were as I was going through them, but just a positive atmosphere that I saw in all of the schools," Cromwell said.

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