Harford County Public Schools Interim Superintendent Patricia Skebeck will recommend that plans be resumed to build Red Pump Elementary School with a revised occupancy date of 2011. The recommendation and a vote by the school board are expected at the board’s business meeting Monday, May 11, according to documents posted on the school system’s website. Skebeck will also recommend that Campus Hills Elementary School be built for occupancy in 2013.
The school board and the Harford County Council have been locked in a debate over which new school would be built first to relieve overcrowding in the Bel Air area since the school board halted plans for Red Pump last December.
Interim Superintendent Skebeck’s written explanation for the switch back to Red Pump seems to quash a planned expansion and modernization of Youth’s Benefit Elementary, at least for the near future. Skebeck cites the Harford County Council’s support for Red Pump, in part to relieve overcrowding at Youth’s Benefit, as the reason behind the recommendation:
“It remains the Board’s opinion that the Campus Hills location is the most appropriate location for the next new elementary school and that since the Youth’s Benefit Elementary School population must be considered, a second new elementary school will be required in this region in the immediate future.
As numerous discussions and public presentations ensued, a compromise proposal was proffered that allowed for the funding and construction of Red Pump Elementary School first, followed by the funding and construction of a second new elementary school at the Campus Hills Elementary School location in the near future.”
Skebeck goes on to recommend changes to the FY10 Capital Improvement Program in order to implement the compromise. A board vote on the recommendation is scheduled for 7:35 P.M. Monday night. If approved, the decision would break a stalemate between the school board and the Harford County Council which had suspended plans for either new school.