Howard County Executive Calvin Ball today announced $13 million in pass-through funding from the state to renovate and expand the Howard County Public School System’s (HCPSS) Applications and Research Laboratory (ARL). The funding is part of the $35 million in state pass-through grant funding that was awarded to Howard County by the Maryland General Assembly in 2022.
ARL is the Career and Technical High School for the Howard County Public School System. Students from all 12 high schools and Homewood have the opportunity to enroll in programs at ARL. Each academy is a two-year program for mostly high school juniors and seniors who can use industry standard software and technology to earn industry certifications and college credits.
“Our HCPSS Applications and Research Laboratory is an essential place of learning for skills, trades, and critical areas of employment for hundreds of high school students in Howard County,” said State Senator Guy Guzzone. “The Howard County Delegation was proud to help deliver $35 million in pass through funds for education, of which $13 million will support critical renovations and an expansion to ARL.”
“The HCPSS Applications and Research Laboratory is an asset that empowers our students by preparing them to enter fields and bright futures with unmatched practical skills,” said Howard County Council Chair Christiana Rigby. “Our community flourishes and thrives with the students thanks to the diverse opportunities that ARL provides them.”
The $13 million in funding will support renovations to expand programs at the facility and reduce the waitlist of students who want to be enrolled at ARL. The school currently accommodates approximately 1,500 students each year, and several hundred more students are currently on ARL’s waitlist.
“Students are asking for more and more opportunities in Career and Technical Education and I am pleased that announcement is going to expand opportunities for many more students in our Applications and Research Laboratory,” said Board of Education Chair Antonia Watts.
“What we do at the Applications and Research Laboratory engages students and makes concrete the connection between what we teach in the classroom and the skills and mindset needed for rewarding life-long careers,” said Dr. Caroline Walker, the Executive Director of Program Innovation and Student Well-Being at HCPSS. “We appreciate the support for the expansion of these programs so more students can experience success through Career and Technology Education.”
Renovations to ARL will also support the Career and Technical Education (CTE) requirements of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future by expanding opportunities for more students to participate in college and career readiness courses. Design work on the renovations and expansion for ARL is anticipated to begin this summer.
Pictures from the announcement can be found here.