Schools to get $9 million from Md. Package includes $531,000 for computer hookups in 10 buildings


Ten Anne Arundel County middle schools will get partial funding that will help them with computer and cable hookups as part of the largest state funding package in 20 years. Also included is money for the Chesapeake Center for the Creative Arts at Brooklyn Park Middle School.

"We are delighted with this," said Ralph Luther, director of

county school facilities management. "Now the county has to come up with the rest of the money."

George Fox Middle, Old Mill Middle South, Annapolis Middle, Chesapeake Bay Middle, Corkran Middle, Severn River Middle, Bates Middle, Severna Park Middle, Magothy River Middle and Arundel Middle are older schools built before computers and Internet technology became widespread. State funding for these projects is $531,000, Luther said. The cost the county will have to cover is undetermined, he said.

Gov. Parris N. Glendening announced the $9 million funding package for the county yesterday as he toured Brooklyn Park Middle School. It will partly pay for 23 school construction projects.

In recent years, the state funding package has averaged about $5 million.

"Thank you for living up to your commitment to us," said state Sen. Philip C. Jimeno, a Brooklyn Park Democrat. "It's a team effort, and it's about people working together to get things done."

Glendening said a project such as Brooklyn Park Middle fits into his Smart Growth policies, which promote renovating buildings instead of tearing them down and building new ones.

"This is the reuse of a school that was built back in 1954, but it will also become a center for the community," Glendening said.

The auditorium, art rooms and some gymnasium rooms will be reborn as the Chesapeake Center for the Performing Arts. The addition of a North County cultural arts building at Brooklyn Park Middle will offer the same quality and variety of cultural activities for North County that Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis offers.

The modernized middle school, with a senior center and creative-arts space with a 1,000-seat auditorium, also will have offices for county agencies.

Other school projects on the state funding list are:

Renovations and additions at Belvedere and Crofton elementary schools and Crofton Middle School; new roofs at Linthicum and Georgetown East elementary schools, South River High School and the Center For Applied Technology North; new heating and air conditioning systems at Riviera Beach and Hilltop elementary schools; and a new science laboratory at Old Mill High School.

The state also will provide money toward the planning of Davidsonville and Piney Orchard elementary schools.

Pub Date: 5/06/98

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