Towson firm selected to create plans for Stoneleigh addition

Rubeling & Associates Inc., a Towson-based architectural firm, has been awarded a $1 million contract to create architectural and engineering drawings for the addition and renovation to Stoneleigh Elementary School.

At its July 12 meeting, the Baltimore County Board of Education voted unanimously to approve negotiations for the contract, at $1,012,647.

That million or so dollars include not simply drawings, but "preparing schematic design, design development phase, and construction document phase," according to board materials. Rubeling & Associates will also assist with the bidding on the "construction administrative phase services; preparing estimates; and making state submissions."

A school system committee chose Rubeling, based at 1104 Kenilworth Drive in Towson, from a field of 19 "pre-qualified" consultants.

Stoneleigh Elementary, on Pemberton Road near Towson, has a capacity of 499 students, but has an enrollment of 629, putting the school 26 percent over capacity.

The school is currently using six trailers as classrooms for fifth-graders.

Parents and supporters of the Stoneleigh Elementary addition and renovation spoke during the public comment portion at the end of the July 12 board meeting.

Stoneleigh parent Beverly Hammer thanked Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Joe Hairston and the board for acting on the school overcrowding problem.

Hairston's initial budget had not included money for the Stoneleigh improvement project. But County Executive Kevin Kamenetz moved money already within the school budget and designated it for the Stoneleigh project.

But the design money is only one piece of the Stoneleigh project. While praise for school officials was forthcoming, it was blended with continued pressure to ensure that construction money be included in the school budget as soon as possible.

"My family is most appreciative, and we hope that the construction will begin as quickly as possible," Hammer said.

Juliet Fisher spoke to the board as a representative of Stoneleigh United, a group formed to advocate for an addition and renovation for the overcrowded school. Fisher will have both a second-grader and a fifth-grader at the school this fall.

"We're busting the seams of our school," Fisher reminded the board. "Without the construction funds, we're stagnant, stuck in the same place."

School system officials say there is no firm estimate yet for the cost of construction.

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