BALTIMORE COUNTY — Baltimore County and Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) are looking for help in order to improve county school buildings.

The County and BCPS issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for an independent consultant to assist in the development of a long-range plan for identifying and prioritizing capital improvements to Baltimore County’s school buildings.

The plan will prioritize needs based on enrollment projections and capacity, educational equity and adequacy and the conditions of facilities.

Baltimore County has significant school construction needs, including eight remaining projects under the Schools for Our Future program. In addition, the county is projected to have 1,700 more students than seats in its high schools over the next decade.

“Every student and educator deserves a safe, modern school where they can learn and grow. While Baltimore County has made significant progress, we still have a number of aging facilities and a growing student population which leads to unacceptable learning conditions for many of our students,” said County Executive Johnny Olszewski.

“Providing a world-class education for our children is and will always be the number one priority of my administration. This long-term plan will outline a clear roadmap to ensure we can best serve all our children and communities.”

“Building on the substantial progress made during the past decade to modernize our schools, this plan will allow us to comfortably accommodate our growing enrollment into the next decade,” said Superintendent Dr. Darryl L. Williams.

“I deeply appreciate the support and partnership from state and county elected officials.”

The RFP issued anticipates identifying a consultant to develop a High School Master Plan by September 2020, followed by a plan for all remaining schools, centers and programs by May 2021.

Recognizing the need for a long-term plan to ensure the county has a roadmap for equitable and effective allocation of school construction dollars, County Executive Olszewski included funds for the development of a 10-year capital plan in his Fiscal Year 2020 budget.

Olszewski also provided funds in the current budget for all remaining Schools for Our Future projects and has allocated $15 million for planning and design at Lansdowne High School. He also recently committed planning funds for both Towson and Dulaney High Schools.

All of these projects are unable to move forward without the State of Maryland’s remaining portion of funding. Earlier this year, Olszewski called on Governor Hogan to release $127 million in currently withheld school construction funding approved by the legislature in the 2019 legislative session.

Maryland House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne Jones has indicated that she intends to make school construction a top priority for the state in the upcoming legislative session, and Olszewski has committed to advocating on behalf of Baltimore County students in Annapolis.

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by AvenueNews.com

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