9:45 AM EST, February 19, 2013
Paul Lang's piece on the selection of Mays Chapel for an elementary school was very much on the mark ("Mays Chapel Park wrong site for school" Feb 14).
Instead of providing a comparative analysis of any substance, the Board of Education offers anecdotes, hyperbole and a "preliminary assessment" so cursory and flawed that it does not recognize the presence of public utilities at the other site it says it evaluated. It is an assessment so incomplete that it does not address costs to mitigate traffic issues, the costs of razing seven acres of mature trees or the comparative value to the local communities of the open space that will be lost. It is an assessment that was never updated to reflect costs imposed by the site design; it places the school so deep into the site that the length of utility lines will significantly increase. Additionally, an access road will need to be built.
If a new school rather than other proposed solutions to the overcrowding is the best choice and if Mays Chapel rather than another site is the best place to locate it, then that should be demonstrated with the facts and figures to substantiate it. That would require, however, an analysis that the board and the school system have apparently been unwilling or unable to develop.
Michael Ashkenes, Timonium
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