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AACPS: O'Malley's School Construction Funding 'Terrific News'

Anne Arundel County Public Schools has tentatively secured $18 million from the state for school facility improvements at 15 different county schools.

After Gov. Martin O’Malley announced plans Monday to spend $336 million on school construction projects throughout the state, an Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) official expressed optimism about receiving necessary funding to finance local facility improvements.

For the 2014 fiscal year starting in July of this year, AACPS asked the state to finance certain school construction projects—ranging from the revitalization of Annapolis Elementary to kindergarten additions throughout the county. Superintendent Kevin Maxwell’s proposed $239 million capital budget for fiscal year 2014 asks the state to provide about $47.2 for facility upgrades.

As of December, the school system had tentatively secured about $18 million of the requested $47.2 million, said AACPS Chief Operating Officer (COO) Alex Szachnowicz.

Prior to O’Malley’s announcement Monday, Szachnowicz said Maryland State Board of Education (MSBE) officials told him to expect about $250 million for school construction projects throughout the state. So the $83 million increase (on top of the $250 million he was expecting) left Szachnowicz optimistic about the funding county schools would receive.

Szachnowicz said he personally hadn’t seen the numbers announced by O’Malley, but expressed excitement about the amount earmarked for school facility improvements.

“If the governor’s announcement is in fact $336 million, we take that to be terrific news because it increases the available pool of money,” Szachnowicz said.

State funding for school construction projects is a four-step process, Szachnowicz said, with the next round occurring on Jan. 23 in Annapolis as AACPS addresses the Board of Public Works.

“Then finally, when the General Assembly concludes its activity in April … we’ll  hopefully also get an increase of state funding,” Szachnowicz said.

According to a document faxed from the MSBE to AACPS, the $18 million set aside by the state for local construction projects include the following facility improvements and replacements:

  • Waugh Chapel Elementary HVAC - $1.24 million
  • Waugh Chapel Elementary windows/doors - $480,000
  • Crofton Meadows Elementary kindergarten and pre-K addition - $1.22 million
  • Glen Burnie Park Elementary kindergarten addition - $889,000
  • Marley Elementary kindergarten and pre-K addition - $1.31 million
  • Four Seasons Elementary kindergarten addition - $666,000
  • Magothy River Middle electrical system replacement - $748,000
  • Park Elementary roof replacement - $833,000
  • Severn River Middle open space conversion - $1.68 million
  • Annapolis High open space conversion - $1.2 million
  • Phoenix Annapolis at Germantown Elementary addition - $2.52 million
  • Annapolis Elementary renovation - $1 million
  • Crofton Middle addition - $2.09 million
  • Lothian Elementary replacement - $1.98 million
  • Woodside Elementary electrical system replacement - $58,000
  • Deale Elementary electrical system replacement - $58,000

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