Of­fi­cials break ground on Pat­ap­sco High ren­o­va­tions

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - By NICOLE ROD­MAN nrod­man@ches­pub.com

Stu­dents, school of­fi­cials and elected lead­ers came to­gether on Tues­day to “break ground” on $42 mil­lion worth of ren­o­va­tions at Pat­ap­sco High School and Cen­ter for the Arts.

The event in­cluded re­marks from Bal­ti­more County Pub­lic Schools In­terim Su­per­in­ten­dent Ver­letta White and Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Kamenetz and fea­tured a per­for­mance of Pat­ap­sco’s alma mater by a the school choir. The Pat­ap­sco JROTC pre­sented the col­ors to start the cer­e­mony.

Though the ground­break­ing cer­e­mony was held on Oct. 24, work at the school is al­ready well un­der­way.

Ren­o­va­tions be­gan this sum­mer with work done on the main of­fice, health suite and the ad­di­tion of a new en­trance to the school build­ing.

In re­marks to the Ea­gle in Au­gust, Pat­ap­sco prin­ci­pal Craig Reed ex­plained that the health suite has been ex­panded, with walls in both that area and the of­fice be­ing re­lo­cated.

“It looks like a com­pletely dif­fer­ent space,” he noted.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the school’s main en­trance has been moved from the In­ver­ness Av­enue side of the school to the Wise Av­enue side, al­low­ing traf­fic to en­ter di­rectly at the main of­fice, in­stead of en­ter­ing near the au­di­to­rium and fac­ing a long walk to the of­fice.

Ren­o­va­tions will con­tinue through­out this school year, into next sum­mer and through the 2018-2019 year be­fore wrap­ping up in the sum­mer of 2019.

Ad­di­tional work will in­clud­ing new lights and elec­tri­cal in­fras­truc­ture, as well

as air con­di­tion­ing, which is be­ing in­stalled in phases.

Class­rooms and hall­ways will also re­ceive new lock­ers, doors, lights, ceil­ings and floor­ing.

Class­rooms will also be equipped with “teach­ing walls” — white­boards with mounted pro­jec­tors.

As work con­tin­ues through the school year, some classes have been re­lo­cated to a tem­po­rary build­ing of 16 por­ta­ble class­rooms lo­cated in the school court­yard off of Lang­port Av­enue.

“It will be a lit­tle bit of a shuf­fle for us,” Reed said. “As rooms are ren­o­vated, teach­ers will re­turn to their rooms.”

Through­out the school year, light work will be com­pleted dur­ing the day, with heav­ier work oc­cur­ring off hours.

While the ren­o­va­tions are ea­gerly an­tic­i­pated, the plan has not been with­out some con­tro­versy. Some par­ents, stu­dents and staff have com­plained that the ren­o­va­tions do not ad­dress over­crowd­ing con­cerns at the school.

Ac­cord­ing to BCPS fig­ures, the school has 1,467 stu­dents en­rolled, with a stated-rated ca­pac­ity of 1,302. En­roll­ment is ex­pected to con­tinue grow­ing, with a pro­jected pop­u­la­tion of 1,537 stu­dents — 18 per­cent over ca­pac­ity— by 2026.

COUR­TESY BCPS

Of­fi­cials held a ground­break­ing cer­e­mony at Pat­ap­sco High School and Cen­ter for the Arts on Tues­day.

COUR­TESY BCPS

Pat­ap­sco’s JROTC pre­sented the col­ors.

COUR­TESY BCPS

In­terim Su­per­in­ten­dent Ver­letta White spoke to stu­dent lead­ers prior to Tues­day’s ground­break­ing at Pat­ap­sco.

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