New Middle School Projects Next on Agenda

Baltimore County broke ground on a new northeast elementary school in Rossville last week. Now it is time to focus on the new middle school projects in the area.

Baltimore County announced that it was going to build a new northeast middle school at Nottingham Park and expand student seating at Pine Grove Middle School to decrease enrollment at Perry Hall Middle for the 2021-22 school year.

Those middle school improvements were announced back in 2017 but have seen delays over the last few years.

Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski, Jr. announced a budget shortfall in early 2019 which delayed the projects.

Next, a construction bill that funded the school 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 budget bill finally passed through the House and Senate in 2020, but Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed all budget bills as a result of COVID-19. The bill was passed into law in 2021 when the General Assembly overrode the Governor.

The good news is that the new northeast middle school on King Avenue and Pine Grove Middle renovation projects are fully funded.

The bad news is there is no timetable for construction to begin for the projects. There was hope to have the projects begin soon enough for completion by the start of the 2022-23 school year, but the earliest the school could open is now 2023-24.

Councilman David Marks explained that construction contracts are being prepared for those middle school projects and there are a lot of variables, such as materials and other factors. Marks added he is hopeful the projects will be finalized by the end of this year.

“Had the State Senate passed the Built to Learn Act in 2019, we might have had the project under construction last year. That delayed the project. The county’s part has been fully funded since 2019,” Marks said.