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Board of Ed Again Approves Mays Chapel Park As Site for New School

The decision comes after a contentious battle between area residents concerning the construction of a 700-seat elementary school.

Board of Ed Again Approves Mays Chapel Park As Site for New School

The Baltimore County Board of Education again voted unanimously to approve the construction of a 700-seat elementary school at Mays Chapel Park.

"I feel that my interest must lie primarily with the students of Baltimore County," said board President Larry Schmidt, a Mays Chapel resident, ahead of the vote. "I frankly don't know when a gathering of little children to learn has come to be such a perceived threat to one's way of life."

The school is intended to alleviate overcrowding issues at elementary schools along the York Road corridor.

Opponents of the project, primarily senior residents living in a condo community close to the site, argued that the school would bring about issues including traffic and environmental concerns.

The Baltimore County Council unanimously voted in favor of a resolution on Jan. 23 approving the swap of a 10-acre wooded area of the Mays Chapel Park property and the adjacent 10-acre property made up of ballfields that is owned by the Baltimore County Public Schools system.

The Mays Chapel site was initially approved by the Baltimore County Board of Education last year. The state board of education, however, sent the process back for a second hearing after it ruled that the county board violated state law pertaining to legal notice requirements for the March 19, 2012 site selection hearing.

"As board president, I take ultimate responsibility for that failure," Schmidt said.

The state Department of Natural Resources must also approve the deal because of open space easements on the county's parcel. Those easements are expected to be transferred over to the new parcel.

Patch editors Bryan Sears and Nick DiMarco contributed to this report.

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