The Harford County Board of Education will decide the next steps for the Homestead-Wakefield Elementary School project at its meeting Monday evening.
Replacement of the overcapacity three-building school with a single building on the Wakefield campus has been delayed because of a dispute between the school system and the Town of Bel Air over a public connector road. Because of the delay, HCPS has said the new school may not be ready to open in fall 2024 as planned.
The Planning Commission reconsidered the Homestead-Wakefield preliminary site plan at its Sept. 1 meeting and issued a new, conditional approval, which still requires a public connector road through the South Main Street campus, according to agenda documents. The school board objects to the road, saying it would divide campus and divert traffic through the site.
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The building permit and other permits are contingent upon the board agreeing to the terms in the commission’s letter within 60 days, which will require designing the public connector road and providing a right-of-way somewhere on the Homestead-Wakefield campus in the final site plan.
The conditional approval also requires the school board to agree that it will set aside school property for a public connector road, which has yet to be designed, or even surveyed to locate street lines, according to agenda documents.
Bulson will ask the board at its meeting to consider two matters: setting aside school property or overruling the planning commission decision, according to agenda documents.
Along with discussing the Homestead-Wakefield project, the board will make a decision on updating Harford Academy on Campus Hill, formerly known as John Archer School, after reviewing the feasibility study, according to agenda documents.
The renovated academy will include new and improved program space requirements to meet the needs of the current students, additional elementary school capacity, lab school components and shared program spaces to provide a single school community experience, according to agenda documents.