Two sites suggested for future Elkridge high school

Jess Nocera
Contact ReporterHoward County Times

A Howard County task force is recommending two sites for a new Elkridge high school, the county announced Friday.

The 12-member group considered a dozen locations for what would be the county’s 14th high school before suggesting properties on Washington Boulevard and Mansion Lane.

To have enough land for a building, parking and athletic fields, the county would have to assemble a large parcel from several individual properties, according to the proposal.

A site at 6571 Washington Boulevard would require assembling six privately owned parcels, more than 44 acres.

A site at 6500 Mansion Lane would be 57 acres from two parcels. Fifty-two of the 57 acres are on Mansion Lane and owned by the county’s Department of Recreation and Parks.

The new school is expected to be close in size to a 1,600-seat high school planned in Jessup that is slated to open in 2023.

Adding High School 14 in the eastern section of Howard would help address the rapid growth in the region, as Elkridge’s population is projected to increase by 40 percent by 2030, reaching 38,000 residents, according to county data. The Elkridge area high school is projected to open in 2028.

The school board has been tackling high school crowding and recently decided to not redistrict for the coming school year.

The most recent feasibility plan does not include an estimated cost for the new school’s design, construction and any necessary land acquisition and improvements, but the school board has already begun to move funds around in its budgets to plan payments for the future school.

County Executive Allan Kittleman, who appointed the task force in March, wrote a letter announcing the recommendations to schools Superintendent Michael Martirano and school board Chairwoman Cynthia Vaillancourt on Friday.

High School 14 was added to the school system’s long-range master plan by the school board, which has committed $10 million in acquisition funding in a long range master plan to build reserves for a future property purchase, according to the master plan.

The task force’s recommendations follow Kittleman’s decision last month to preserve the Rockburn Park area by taking it off the table as a possible site for a new high school.

Kittleman’s decision was welcomed by the 4,000 signers of a petition that requested Rockburn to not be considered as a potential site.

In March, the school board voted 4-3 to place High School 13 at Mission Road in Jessup instead of choosing Troy Park in Elkridge. The school is slated to open in 2023.

Leading up the board’s decision, Jessup and Elkridge parents were very clear on wanting the new high school in their respective neighborhood, routinely attending board meeting wearing T-shirts expressing their support and posting on social media.

Kittleman is asking for the school system to provide feedback on the recommendations and to develop preliminary concept plans, placing the future high school on each of the sites.

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jnocera@baltsun.com

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