Lansdowne High renovation plans show classrooms that will 'look like new'

Lansdowne High renovation plans show classrooms that will 'look like new'
Lansdowne, Md--4/12/16--Lansdowne High School is undergoing some renovations and others are planned. Parents are pushing for a new high school. Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun. 32013. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore County school officials got a first look at preliminary plans for a renovated Lansdowne High School Tuesday afternoon.

The $28 million renovation project calls for technology upgrades and new floors and doors in teaching spaces, along with several additions, including a security vestibule, an automatic fire suppression system and much-demanded air conditioning. Lansdowne is one of eight Baltimore County high schools entering the school year without air conditioning.


Changes also would meet the 1990 federal Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for access.

The project timeline calls for the design to be completed by the end of the year, with bidding to start in January, according to John DiMenna, the project manager and vice president of Towson-based Rubeling & Associates.

Work is expected to be finished in 2019.

"The classrooms will essentially look like new spaces," DiMenna said.

The school's original building was constructed in 1963. The southwest Baltimore County school was expanded in 1967, 1971 and 1973.

Renovations since 2000 have included upgrading and replacing science rooms and most of the roof in 2000, structural repairs in 2001, replacement of lockers in 2004 and a variety of utility and security upgrades since 2003.

A March 2015 enrollment projection shows 1,511 students will attend by 2024, an increase from 1,307 for the 2015-16 school year.

When school board member Kathleen Causey asked about accommodating for future growth, Pradeep Dixit, executive director of physical facilities for the school system, said adding capacity was not part of the project's scope.

The projection showed the school having an enrollment of 1,356 in 2019, a figure below the school's state-rated capacity of 1,420.

A February estimate put construction costs at $27.7 million for the renovations — $18.1 million of that to install air conditioning — and $3.4 million for educational enhancements, including renovating technology and art classrooms, along with replacing kitchen equipment and auditorium seating.

Two elevators will be added to make it more accessible, DiManna said.

Principal Ken Miller told the school board the project addresses many needs and concerns that have been brought up by parents and staff. Some had urged the county to build a new school rather than repair a 50-year-old building.