Board secures Ducketts Lane site for elementary school in 2013

The sale of a 10-acre parcel of land on Ducketts Lane in Elkridge to the Board of Education has been completed, assuring that a 600-seat elementary school will open in 2013, school officials announced Wednesday.

The announcement comes more than a month after the board filed suit over a broken sales contract. The sellers of the site — Ducketts Ridge, LLC — were unable to close on the $2.64 million property because of a lien dispute, and the board filed suit against Ducketts Ridge, LLC on Dec. 20.

Joel Gallihue, manager of school planning, said Ducketts Ridge, LLC and the lienholders were able to resolve the lien on their own accord.

"We now have a deed to record, so we're good to go," Gallihue said.

Ken Roey, executive director of facilities, planning and management, said in a statement that the school will be ready for the 2013-2014 school year.

"While the remaining design and construction schedule is very challenging, we are confident that by working in close coordination with the various county and state agencies who are involved, we will ensure a timely opening," he said.

The new elementary school would alleviate over-crowding along the Route 1 corridor, and is expected to take in students from Bellows Spring, Deep Run and Elkridge elementary schools. The Board of Education designated the Ducketts Lane site for an elementary school in June 2011, after plans for an elementary school onCoca-ColaDrive stalled. The site onCoca-ColaDrive has since been designated for a middle school, scheduled to open in August 2014. The school system announced final acquisition of that site last month.

"We have two sites, for two schools, and we're in pretty good shape," Gallihue said.

In a news release, Superintendent Sydney Cousin thanked staff for keeping the project on track. While acknowledging that "each new school site presents unique challenges," Cousin said he was "pleased to now have the sites we need to build the schools we have been planning."

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