The Maryland General Assembly passed HB 1 on Tuesday evening that will help fund school construction projects across the state. Baltimore County will receive additional $400 million in school construction funding from the bill.
This includes three northeast Baltimore County school projects; a new elementary school in the Rossville area, a new middle school at Nottingham Park on King Avenue and to expand Pine Grove Middle School in Carney.
The three northeast projects were planned several years ago to alleviate overcrowding, but those projects hit a few road bumps when Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski, Jr. announced a budget shortfall in early 2019.
An original construction bill that would have funded the three projects was introduced in the 2019 General Assembly. That bill passed in the House of Delegates but never received a vote in a Senate committee.
The bill again passed through the House of Delegates on Feb. 14, but it appeared to be looming again in the Senate.
With the arrival of the coronavirus forcing the session into a three-week early adjournment, some were fearful that the bill might be a casualty as a result of the shorter session.
But northeast Baltimore County residents received the good news when the bill passed through the Senate 45 to 0 on Tuesday. Councilman David Marks has been an advocate for new schools in his district. He said this funding will help with overcrowded schools in his district.
“Thank you to the Senators who represent parts of the Fifth District – Chris West, Kathy Klausmeier, and J.B. Jennings – for their support,” Mark said in a statement. “The Build to Learn Act will help advance two new schools in the northeast, expand Pine Grove Middle School, and put us on a path to build new high schools throughout the county.
The funding will be finalized when Gov. Larry Hogan, who requested the legislation, signs the bill into law.