Howard Board of Education approves design for 13th high school

The Howard County Board of Education unanimously approved the design for the county’s planned high school in Jessup at its meeting last week.

Projected to accommodate 1,650 students, the Jessup site will be the county’s 13th high school.


The approved design is the same as used for Marriotts Ridge, Reservoir and Long Reach high schools.

The 287,005-square-foot high school is designed to have 579 parking spaces and 34 school bus parking spaces, according to the report presented at the meeting.

Features of the school would include an outdoor teaching area, a garden and stormwater management facilities to provide hands-on experiences for science classes.

A public road would be built to connect Route 1 to Mission Road with a walking path alongside. An additional walking path will connect the school to adjacent neighborhoods for students who walk to school.

Pending state approval, construction is set to begin in May 2020 and be completed in April 2023. The school is slated to open in September 2023.

The project is set to have a $130.7 million budget, according to information presented at the board meeting.

In other business at the March 14 meeting, the school system presented its recommendation of installing 20 portable classrooms for the 2019-2020 school year.

Howard uses portable classrooms to “provide immediate relief” in overcrowded schools, according to Renée Kamen, the county school system’s manager of school planning.

Three of the 20 portables were purchased in the 2018-19 school year but have not been placed. Seventeen have yet to be purchased.

An additional 23 existing portables and one modular fixture that houses five classrooms will be demolished. School construction officials said each portable has its own lifespan and, when they are deemed old or unfit, they are demolished.

County schools planning staff visited the buildings and surveys of principals were conducted to evaluate what schools’ needs are. A total of 68 portables were requested at a cost of $8.6 million.

However, since the current budget request is $3.2 million, the school system is unable to fulfill all the requests.

The 20 portables are being recommended for the following schools: one each at Bryant Woods, Gorman Crossing, Jeffers Hills and Lisbon elementary schools and Clarksville Middle School. Two are set to be placed a Cradlerock, Guilford and St. John’s elementary schools and Patapsco Middle School. Hollifield Station Elementary will receive three, and four will be placed at Dunloggin Middle School.


Of the 23 portables to be demolished, six are at Glenwood Middle, four at both Dunloggin Middle and Guilford Elementary, two at St. John’s Lane Elementary and one each at Bryant Woods, Clarksville, Jeffers Hill, Laurel Woods, Lisbon and Running Brook elementary schools and Clarksville Middle. The one modular would be demolished from Swansfield Elementary.

The school board did not vote on this recommendation.