Carroll County to request more state aid for schools Funds would be used for construction projects


Carroll school representatives will begin their annual quest today to persuade state officials that the county deserves more money to build and upgrade schools next year.

Their trip to the Interagency Committee for School Construction in Baltimore is one of the first steps in a long series of requests and appeals as counties compete for state money for school construction and renovations.

Last month, the committee's staff approved $4.7 million of Carroll's $21.7 million request to help pay for capital projects in fiscal year 2000, which begins in July. Nearly all of it -- $4 million -- will go toward construction of a new high school in South Carroll.

"This is a pretty typical year," said Vernon Smith, Carroll's assistant superintendent of administration. "We're very happy the commitment is there for the southeast area high school."

Today, county school officials plan to ask for $13,310,043 for projects that were deferred by the committee staff in its initial review of school construction requests. The committee is chaired by state schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick.

Carroll's requests include construction money for Cranberry Station Elementary School in Westminster and funds to pay for a roof replacement and computer and science lab improvements at other schools.

Statewide, committee staff recommended funding projects totaling $115 million. However, $135 million remains to be distributed to school systems.

"We think that given the significant number of dollars the governor is looking to spend in the upcoming budget, we're real optimistic that a number of these projects can be funded," Smith said.

In January, the committee will send its funding recommendations to the state Board of Public Works, which will decide on the requests by spring.

BTC The largest portion of Carroll's request is for a $2.7 million partial reimbursement for the $8.2 million Cranberry Station Elementary School, scheduled to open in August.

Because the school was needed so badly, the county committed to full funding before the state formally approved the project.

Smith said school officials will ask for an additional state allocation of $1.6 million for construction of the South Carroll high school.

Carroll decided not to appeal the committee's deferment of $5.1 million in construction money for Hampstead Middle School, to be completed in 2000. Smith said the school system will seek reimbursement when area enrollment increases.

Pub Date: 12/14/98

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