“Build a School at Fairwood!” and other notes from the 8/23/2017 PGCPS School Board Meeting

Fiarwood

I watched portions of the August 23, 2017 PGCPS School Board Meeting.

There are several interesting takeaways

  • Fairwood showed up and spoke out.  About six speakers advocated for the construction of a Pre-K through 8 school in the Fairwood housing development, including State Senator Joanne Benson and three Fairwood residents.  On the video, fast forward to the 25 minute mark and again at the 40 minute mark.
    • A few statements made:  The builder promised there would be a school, and construction was included in the capital plans as far back as 2006.  Residents stated Glenn Dale elementary is overcrowded.  There are 1600 homes in Fairwood, with 200 more planned. PGCPS owns land on Fairwood Parkway.
  • Capital Improvement Program (CIP) – The Bowie Annex and Benjamin Tasker was mentioned during a presentation by a CIP officer, Elizabeth Chaisson.  See minute mark 55.
    • The state approved renovations at the Bowie high school Annex.  Certain approvals are still pending.
    • They seemed to recommend replacing Benjamin Tasker.  Would cost $83 million
    • The good news is there has been a steady increase in approved construction funds.  The problem is that county and state funding is only meeting half the need
    • FY19 – CIP has a capital budget request of $66 million for AC Upgrades. Much goes to emergency repairs.  PGCPS isn’t getting enough money to maintain a proactive approach to facility maintenance.  Therefore, the county is constantly addressing maintenance and construction in a reactive mode.
  • Other info
    • PGCPS has a new app that is said to allow tracking arrival of buses and more (Bb District)
    • While an app for tracking buses is promising, PGCPS Superintendent Dr. Maxwell cited an acute shortage of bus drivers.  Fingers crossed for a smooth start to the new school year

What Next?

  • Take a lesson from the neighbors at Fairwood. Mobilize, be heard, testify!
  • See the CIP timeline below

FY2018 CIP Projects4

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