Howard Co. school board approves new site for elementary school in Elkridge

The Howard County Board of Education on Tuesday approved a new site to be considered for construction of an elementary school in Elkridge, giving an alternative to a previously proposed site that raised concerns about proximity to a MARC rail commuter line and a proposed CSX rail cargo transfer station.

The new site, on Ducketts Lane adjacent to U.S. 1, is 10.1 acres and will include space for a ball field and multipurpose field. Howard school officials said a permit is required from the state Department of the Environment and the Army Corps of Engineers to fill in wetlands. It is positioned to reconfigure an adjacent area for use later to build another school.

School officials are seeking to open a 600-seat elementary school in the northeast portion of the county by August 2013 to alleviate existing overcrowding and projected growth in enrollment. A developer has offered to donate 20 acres next to a MARC rail commuter line.

Ken Roey, the school system's executive director of facilities, planning and management, said that the new site is now the primary site for consideration.

The school board also passed a resolution by board member Brian Meshkin to make a formal request to the county's department of zoning and planning to explore open enrollment as an option to address overcrowding.

The matter will be considered in a public hearing July 14 and then another public hearing and vote by the school board on Aug. 18.

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