School Board Delays Lansdowne High Decision
The Baltimore County School Board Tuesday night decided to delay a decision to renovate Lansdowne High School until its next meeting in May.
Some board members objected to the planned renovation, saying that Lansdowne is considered the high school in the worst shape in the county and should be replaced.
But they were warned that money is available now for the renovation and shelving it would be a gamble because there are no guarantees when it comes to funding for a new school. The delay is to find out if the state and county would guarantee the money to build a new Lansdowne.
The proposed renovation is estimated to cost around $60 million. A new high school could be twice as much or more.
People in Lansdowne say the renovation is unfair if both Dulaney and Towson High Schools are replaced. County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has put in his budget $30 million dollars in planning money for two new high schools. He’s letting the school board decide which schools will get that. Councilman Tom Quirk, who represents Lansdowne, said he would like to see the renovation delayed, the $60 million set aside, and Lansdowne considered for a new high school.
“I think the next county executive, the next county council and the next school board candidly should weigh in on that because it’s a big decision,” Quirk said.
Ellen Kobler, a spokeswoman for County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, said the administration is hopeful the school board will move ahead with the renovation, the most expensive in county history. Kobler said work will begin as soon as the board approves the renovation, and will be finished in two years, adding that delaying the project could put any help for Lansdowne years down the road.
Even if the money is eventually found for a new school, the board was told by staff that it would take, at best, five to seven years to get it built.