Commentary Open Forum: ‘Never Enough’ in Frederick | Open Forums

The Frederick County Board of Supervisors recently authorized $27 million for a new 12th elementary school, yet the School Board is attempting to increase this to $28.5 million. It would appear the “Lamanna Board” has a mantra of “Never Enough.”

The School Board is not doing enough to keep costs down. They need to rein in this large appetite for new construction. The focus should be on renovation and additions to our existing facilities. We have already invested multi-millions of taxpayer dollars in buildings.

We have many schools that need attention and should be improved before we expend funds on new schools. As elected representatives, the School Board should make the tough decisions to adjust school boundaries before plunging parents and taxpayers into more debt.

They had an excellent opportunity to adjust boundaries with the opening of both Gainesboro Elementary and Frederick County Middle, yet failed to do so. The capacity problems being experienced at two facilities, Armel and Stonewall, could have been alleviated.

Based upon the enrollment numbers as of June 8, this year, there are 850 open desks in our 11 elementaries. This is an average of 78 per school — three to four classrooms.

The K-5 census numbers have decreased by 72 students from 2011 to 2016. The Board’s own projections, through 2021, indicates but a small increase of only 103 students.

This board must promote renovation/reconstruction and additions on our existing school facilities that will help all of our students, instead of new construction for the few.

The taxpayers of Frederick County “foot the bill” for a highly paid school administrative staff. Yet I look at the published work on the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), and I see mostly blank spaces. When will we see more detail and projected costs for all of these proposals?

Is it $25 million…

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