Frederick County Faces Choice Between Competing Elementary School Construction Requests

As reported in the Frederick News-Post, the Frederick School Board heard testimony this week from advocates for the construction of elementary schools to address overcrowding in two different areas of Frederick County. As described by the Post,

Some made cases as to why either Sugarloaf Elementary School, planned in Urbana, or Butterfly Ridge Elementary School, slated to open in the west end of Frederick city, should be placed first on the school board’s capital plan.

County Executive Jan Gardner had informed the school board that county funding could not accommodate, at least in fiscal 2018 and beyond, the school system’s current capital plan. This plan lists both elementary schools as opening concurrently.

Rising costs of school construction due to new state mandates are one reason why county school construction funding can not meet all of the funding requests,

Both [County Executive] Gardner, who attended most of the hearing, and the school board members have pointed to state laws that have driven up costs of school construction, which they say ultimately caused some of the problems the school system and county faces. Among the new mandates are new stormwater management requirements, as well as prevailing wage, which requires that construction workers be paid a higher wage on certain school projects the state contributes to.

For more information, see the full story from the Frederick News-Post and for more information on school construction issues statewide our previous posts, Allegany County Grapples With School Construction Budget ShortfallFacility Planners Discuss Cost Increases and Labor Issues at Hagerstown Meeting.