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Genesis (music group)

Recession changed course of population growth in metro Baltimore

Not too long ago, Carroll County faced a problem: Rapid growth had brought crowded classrooms to the northeastern part of the county, and planners expected many more homes to be built in the area.

"At one point, they were 400 kids over capacity at North Carroll High," said Bill Caine, facilities planner for the school system. It seemed inevitable that a new high school would be filled within a few years, so the county decided to build Manchester Valley High, which could accommodate 1,300 students -- at a cost of $80 million.

Today, though, Manchester Valley is operating at about 60 percent of capacity, and North Carroll has nearly as many openings, the result of...