S. Carroll parents plan to pack meeting to discuss crowding SOUTHEAST -- Sykesville * Eldersburg * Gamber


Parents from four South Carroll elementary schools have begun a telephone campaign to persuade as many people as they can to come out for a meeting this month with the Carroll County commissioners.

The parents, concerned about student crowding at Sykesville Middle School, hope they can crowd the school building themselves as a show of strength, and demonstrate the problem far better than any projection chart they could draw.

"We are trying to get as many as 900 parents," said Paige Herbert of Piney Ridge PTA. "We want to pack in as many people as we can, even if they overflow into the hallways and cafeteria."

PTA groups from South Carroll's four elementary schools, which feed the middle school, will meet with commissioners at 7 p.m. March 30 at Sykesville Middle School.

"We have all our elementary homeroom mothers calling parents and we have sent notices to area preschools," Ms. Herbert said. "I have young children and I would like an uncrowded building by the time they reach middle school. The county has to plan ahead."

If 900 parents attend, the gymnasium still would be nearly 100 people shy of the school's enrollment.

With 981 students, the middle school -- the only school in South Carroll for grades six through eight -- is more than 100 students over capacity. In September, it will be over capacity by more than 200 students. The county classifies the building "severely inadequate."

Parents want to discuss crowding and push the commissioners for construction of the proposed Oklahoma Road Middle School, which would be built on a 20-acre site north of Liberty Road.

The state, which would finance 65 percent of the $11 million school project, has denied the county approval three times.

County officials will repeat their request for the approval in June.

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