Plans for a proposed new $71 million Havre de Grace High School will be revealed at the November 5 meeting of the Harford County Board of Education, where a board vote on the proposal is also planned. Also on the November 5 meeting agenda is a report showing a modest downward trend in student enrollment.
Havre de Grace High
Having been persuaded by Harford County Executive David Craig to prioritize a capital improvement project for Havre de Grace High School, school board members will now decide how best to bring the old school into the modern age. Laying out the options for a board vote, a HCPS committee including architects from Grimm + Parker will recommend that the existing two-building school be replaced by one new building. Dubbed “Option C”, the new school option is estimated to cost $71 million, with a building design based on the Bel Air High School prototype.
“Option C” – Complete Replacement
Under Option C, the new Havre de Grace High School will be built in a new location on the school’s campus, on the west side of Juniata Street in an area now occupied by baseball and softball fields. Unlike the other options studied, the plan allows construction to take place without disrupting school operations. The baseball field and a multipurpose field, along with a new parking lot, will ultimately be located in the areas now occupied by the two existing school buildings. The two buildings are located along the east side of Juniata and separated from each other by Congress Avenue. The existing buildings will be demolished under this option.
The new, 225,000 sq.ft. school will have expanded student capacity, increased from 850 to 1,148 students, in part to allow for the addition of a signature program. County Executive Craig and other advocates for the school have called for a signature program to prevent the loss of students to magnet programs in other county high schools.
The new Havre de Grace building has been promised budgetary support by County Executive Craig, and Superintendent Robert Tomback will recommend that board members approve Option C – Complete Replacement, according to the published meeting agenda. Other, less costly options to be presented include limited renovation ($49 million, Option A) and modernization ($61 – 65 million, Option B), each of which include some demolition and new construction of the existing two buildings.
If approved by the school board Monday, the next steps for a new Havre de Grace High School include state planning approval and funding approval for the design phase. Total construction time is estimated at 36 months. All plans are subject to county and state funding availability.
2012 Student Enrollment: Up Slightly in Elementary School, Down in Middle and High
Also on the November 5th agenda, a presentation on student enrollment is planned. Elementary enrollment increased by 67 students, according to the report, with declines in middle school (238 students) and high school (95 students). Enrollment dropped by two students at the John Archer School for special education.
Total enrollment was down this year by 268 students to 37,954 students, a decline of less than 1% from 2011 and in line with projections.
Future total enrollment is projected to continue a modest downward trend, hovering near the 37,000 mark for the next eight years. Over that time, elementary enrollment is expected to dip and recover; little change is seen for middle school, and a decline of about 200 students is projected in high school.
2012 Enrollment vs. Capacity
Following elementary school redistricting that took effect last school year, enrollment is under 105% of state-rated capacity at all 33 county elementary schools. Six elementary schools have enrollment over 100%: Abingdon (102%), Churchville (102%), Dublin (101%), Hickory (104%), Ring Factory (101%) and Youth’s Benefit (102%). On the whole, elementary schools are operating at 91% of total capacity, with space for an additional 1,768 students available throughout the county.
No county middle schools are operating over capacity. Total middle school utilization is at 79%, with room for an additional 2,244 students countywide.
Among the ten comprehensive county high schools, only two are over capacity: Patterson Mill (102%) and the perennially popular magnet school, Harford Tech (110%). Total high school utilization is at 85%, with room for 2,062 more students countywide.
In other board business, the November 5th consent agenda includes a recommended $103,805 contract award to Skyline Technology Solutions for network infrastructure equipment at Fallston High School.
Also, Dr. Jonathan Brown will make a presentation on community engagement and cultural proficiency.
As usual, the school board meeting will conclude with a report from Superintendent Tomback.
The November 5 business meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the A.A. Roberty Building in Bel Air. The public comment period is set for 6:35 p.m. Below is the published meeting agenda. Please note that published agendas are subject to change.
Monday, November 5, 2012
Board Closed Session – 5:30 PM – Board Executive Conference Room
Board Business Meeting – 6:30 PM – Board Room
6:30 PM Call to Order – Mr. Francis F. Grambo, III, President
Quorum Roll Call
Adoption of Agenda
Pledge of Allegiance
6:35 PM Public Comment
6:50 PM Introductions
7:00 PM Board Committee Reports and Comments
7:15 PM A. Consent Agenda:
1) Affirmation of Monthly Contract Awards (Goal 4)
2) Minutes of Previous Board Meeting: October 22, 2012 (Goals 1 – 4)
3) Award of Contract: Network Infrastructure Equipment for Fallston High School (Goals 1 & 2)
7:20 PM B. Decision on Havre de Grace High School Scope Study Board Report, Havre de Grace High School Scope Study Section 1, Section 2, Section 3, Section 4, Section 5, Mr. Cornell S. Brown (Goal 4)
7:35 PM C. 2012 Enrollment Projections Board Report, Elementary, Middle, High School 2012 Enrollment Projections, PowerPoint Presentation 2012 Enrollment Projections, Mr. Cornell S. Brown (Goal 4)
7:55 PM D. Presentation on Community Engagement & Cultural Proficiency, Dr. Jonathan D. Brown (Goals 1 – 3)
8:15 PM E. Superintendent’s Report
8:25 PM Future Meetings Review