Board of Education aides to help facilities panel


Hampstead has asked two Board of Education officials to work on its adequate facilities committee, which will focus on crowded schools.

Vernon Smith, director of school support services, and Kathleen Sanner, facilities planner, will meet with town officials Oct. 11.

"We will try to explain the mechanics more clearly so they have a grasp on the process," said Ms. Sanner at the county Planning and Zoning Commission hearing this week.

Ms. Sanner gave the town Planning and Zoning Commission enrollment figures and projections in July.

Crowding in the area's three elementary schools, all of which are above capacity, will continue until another school opens, she told the council Tuesday. No new school is budgeted for the next several years.

The Town Council formed the committee last month in response to residents' concerns about unchecked growth. The council had also asked the town Planning and Zoning Commission for a 90-day building moratorium until the committee could complete its work.

The commission ignored the request and approved some 500 more permits Aug. 29.

Calling a halt to building may not ease crowding in the schools.

"A moratorium would only apply to the town's specific boundaries," said Ms. Sanner.

Of the more than 700 students attending Spring Garden Elementary, only 250 live within the town limits, she said.

"The Board of Education remains neutral," she said. "We look at growth trends in the catchment area. I don't look at town boundaries."

Edmund G. "Ned" Cueman, county director of planning, said each school in the Hampstead area has several portables.

"When we are out of room, we will have to make a decision about allowing any more plats to go on record," Mr. Cueman said. "We have our eyes on two things: projections and our ability to provide relief."

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