ANNAPOLIS – A new high school and improvements to other secondary schools were on the wish list for the Charles County lawmakers and school officials who stood together Wednesday to ask the Board of Public Works for funding.
The appeal to the state Board of Public Works included four requests: planning approval for a new high school, planning approval for a gym in Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Elementary High School, funds for a new roof at Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School, and funds for renovating the pool at Lackey High School.
Delegate Samuel Linton, D-Charles, called the appeal, under $2 million, “modest.”
The board has $69 million to distribute, but requests from all counties came to almost double that amount.
The governor, along with Comptroller Donald Schaefer and Treasurer Richard N. Dixon, made up the board. Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend subbed for Gov. Parris Glendening, who was with his wife, Frances Hughes Glendening, who suffered a collapsed lung this week.
Charles County, one of the fastest growing counties in the state, faces overcrowding and space shortages in many schools.
“Southern Maryland has the lion’s share of the growth,” said Sen. Thomas McLain Middleton, D-Charles, who joined Linton, Delegate Van Mitchell, D- Charles, and Delegate Thomas E. “Tim” Hutchins, R-Charles in asking the board for money.
“Our high schools are being used beyond their capacity,” said Wayne Cooper, chairman of the Charles County Board of Education. “It is time to begin planning for a new high school.”
The county has not picked a new high school site yet, but it will probably be in the area with the fastest growth, between the Prince George’s County line and Waldorf. It is expected to house a career and technology center.
Renovations at Mudd Elementary School will include a new gym and more rooms. The county has already approved $430,000 for planning, according to the Charles County Department of Education.
Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School’s roof is 17 years old and needs to be replaced. The delegation requested $196,000 for it, and the county will contribute another $151,000 to replace it.
The last request was for $231,000 to renovate and enclose the pool at Lackey High School so that it will be available year-round for swim teams and lessons.
The president of the Charles County Commissioners, Murray Levy, stressed the need to reduce overcrowding in schools.
“We are determined to move forward,” he said.
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