The new building for the Carver Center for Arts and Technology is taking shape, with the approval of about $23 million in contracts by the Baltimore County school board Tuesday night.

The money includes about $6.5 million for masonry and $6 million for steel and metal work. Other funds have been allocated for painting, athletic equipment and putting seats in the gym, auditorium and a theater, among other items.

Preparation for the facility began this year. It will sit where Carver's playing fields and courts are, with a construction fence separating it from the old structure between Kenilworth Drive and York Road in Towson.

Completion is projected for 2012, provided "several more critical packages" to come before the board are approved, said Michael Sines, executive director of physical facilities, adding that construction should take 22 months to 26 months. The old Carver building will be razed, he said.

School officials are aiming for green-building certification, which would be a first for the district, along with West Towson Elementary, also under construction, Sines added.

The countywide magnet school features specialties in acting, carpentry, cosmetology, dance and visual arts.

Also approved Tuesday night were a $12.7 million contract for buying 80 school buses and a $2 million, five-year contract for grounds maintenance equipment.

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