The school system initially planned for a renovation and addition at the 515-seat school, which opened in 1969 and was last renovated in 1998. As with the new school, construction would have started in 2015, but earlier this fall the Wilde Lake community called for the project to be accelerated. The board asked staff for a feasibility study on the school, which led to the final recommendation for a new facility, which will seat 662 students.

The plans call for a "net-zero" building, which, according to Robyn Toth, an architect with TCA Architects, is one that "over the course of the first year, the amount of energy consumed by the building will be produced on-site, creating a net-zero energy consumption." This would be done, Toth said, through numerous green features — particularly solar panels.

In planning for a net-zero building, Gist said the system was "confident" it would receive a $2.5 million grant from the Maryland Energy Administration for the school. The final price tag on the school would be $36.6 million.

—Sara Toth, Baltimore Sun Media Group

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Additional dates for thinning the deer herd

The Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks launched its 2013 schedule last week for managing deer through use of sharpshooters, who come to locations in the county to thin the deer herd.

Officials said program is held to "help maintain a stable, balanced white-tailed deer population on county lands where deer browsing has been shown to reduce biodiversity." The first date for the hunts was Nov. 21 at the Alpha Ridge Landfill.

County officials said that sharpshooter program is different from managed hunts, which were announced in September. In the sharpshooter program, trained personnel using noise-suppressed rifles hunt under a special permit issued by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The deer meat is donated to charities in the area.

County officials said properties involved in the hunts will be closed to the public during the hours of operation, 3:30 p.m. to midnight, unless otherwise noted. Remaining sites and schedule are as follows:

•Alpha Ridge Landfill: Jan. 22, dawn to 11 a.m.

•Belmont Park: Dec. 19, Jan. 27, Feb. 13, March 10.

•Centennial Park: Dec. 5, Jan. 13, Feb. 10, Feb. 27.

•Daniel's Mill Overlook: Dec. 9, Jan. 6, Feb. 24.

•Governor's Run Open Space: Dec. 12, Feb. 3, Feb. 17, March 6.

•Gray Rock Open Space: Dec. 5, Jan. 13, Feb. 10, Feb. 27.

•Hollifield Farm: Dec. 9, Jan. 6, Feb. 24.

•Meadowbrook Park: Dec. 16, Dec. 23.

•Mount Hebron Open Space: Dec. 9, Jan. 6, Feb. 24.

•Robinson Nature Center: Dec. 2, March 3.

•Rockburn Branch Park: Dec. 19, Jan. 27, Feb. 13, March 10.

•Worthington Park: Dec. 12, Feb. 3, Feb. 17, March 6.

For more information on the deer management program, call the Department of Recreation & Parks at 410-313-1675 or go to

The department also has a Deer Management Reference Manual to help homeowners and gardeners live with white-tailed deer. The manual, which is available in all county library branches, contains information on the use of deer repellents, fencing to protect crops and property, how to avoid deer-auto collisions and Lyme disease prevention.

The department and the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service can also arrange to have experts on the topic speak to homeowner associations, schools or other groups.

—Staff Reports