With the BOE considering the two potential sites for High School 13 and the need for a decision as soon as possible, I wanted to share my thoughts on the two locations. One of my top objectives since taking office has been to advocate for a new high school to serve the eastern county as soon as possible. I worked early in my term, going back to the budget passed in May 2015 and the Council/BOE meetings in June and October of that year to focus attention on the need for HS13 and to encourage HCPSS to move forward quickly on the high school, including seeking a site in Elkridge and to engage Elkridge residents in the process. I worked within the budget framework to move funding for HS13 to expedite the opening date, sequestered county funds for that purpose, and I went to Annapolis this past Fall to request funds so we could build a high school to open in 2022. I maintain that the timing of completing construction is an important element, but certainly not the only criteria. In short, I believe the Troy Park site presents the best location for the high school and, I concur with Superintendent Martirano we need to continue with the acquisition of the Mission Road site for another school and additional educational facilities.
I have heard good arguments supporting both sites for the next high school, though I continue to be deeply concerned about the vitriol in the community pitting neighborhoods against one another. In the end, there is a clear consensus within the entire community in this part of Howard County that we need a high school here and that the overcrowding at Howard and Long Reach needs to be addressed sooner, rather than later. I am hopeful that the BOE and HCPSS will move forward to complete their decision on a site in the coming weeks to prevent further delays in opening HS13 as soon as possible. I encourage community members to continue to share your thoughts on the high school site with the BOE (email@example.com).