Marc Steiner’s recent broadcast included a discussion of school construction with guests Delegate Adrienne Jones and MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson.
Delegate Adrienne Jones of Baltimore County and Michael Sanderson of the Maryland Association of Counties spoke about topics in education on the recent Marc Steiner Show, “Countdown to the Annapolis Summit: Education.” Delegate Jones is Speaker Pro Tem of the Maryland House of Delegates, and represents District 10 in Baltimore County.
Delegate Jones spoke about the recently announced 21st Century Schools Commission. She shared her interest in discovering innovative ways to get to results in school construction through the Commission. She said they would be looking at public-private partnerships and incorporating insight from the commercial construction industry into an analysis of cost effective public school construction.
Sanderson stated that public school construction is a top issue for county governments this year. He said that there is wide agreement that a good learning space is a key ingredient for student success, yet hundreds of millions of school construction and renovation projects do not proceed each year because of a lack of state funding.
Massive cost overruns in school projects are one of the things that has made school construction a red hot issue in county government. . . When schools come in $20-40 million above estimates, that makes good projects turns less-than-viable really fast.
Sanderson shared that county representative to the new Commission would participate with vigor, adding that MACo will be advocating for school construction to be a top priority. He said this was a good time to take a look at regulations that are making school construction costly with an aim of building safe and smart schools for our students.
For more information, hear the podcast of WEAA’s Marc Steiner Show, Countdown to the Annapolis Summit: Education. WEAA is a public radio station airing in Baltimore, and affiliated with Morgan State University.