BOE president on Hillcrest/Urbana choice: “I will not pit one community against the other!”

EXCERPT: “It is a public hearing and any vote will be taken at our next meeting. I want to make it clear that tomorrow I look forward to hearing from residents about the proposed plan, but if you are coming to tell us that your community needs the school more than the other, please don’t. We know how much both communities need their new school.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: On Wednesday, the Frederick County Board of Education will hold a Public Hearing on the 2015 Superintendent’s Recommended Educational Facilities Master Plan. This is an annual update of a ten year plan — a “blueprint” which establishes facility and funding priorities regarding new construction, as well as renovation and repair projects.

It would be an understatement to say that there are always more projects well worth funding than there are funds for them. Unfortunately, two Frederick County communities — Urbana and the west side of the City of Frederick — which have been advocating for much needed and long overdue projects to alleviate severe overcrowding, find themselves fighting to see their local projects advanced, while circumstances may make it necessary to delay one of them.

Envision Frederick County is not advocating for one over the other. And we are hopeful that the Board of Education may yet find a way to fund both Sugarloaf Elementary School (in Urbana) and Butterfly Ridge Elementary School (on Butterfly Lane, in the city).

Below is a short and focused commentary from Board of Education president Brad Young about the widespread perception that these two communities are pitted against each other, and that the Board of Education will be making a decision immediately ater the hearing on Wednesday.


BradYoung181I must say that I am very disappointed in the fact that our County Government was preempted the Board of Education’s planning process by shooting down our Educational Facilities Master Plan before we even have a public hearing.

Based on comments by the County Executive, the Frederick News Post has run several articles stating that the Board of Education must choose the Hillcrest / Waverly area or the Urbana area for our next Elementary School.

Excuse me, the hearing is Wednesday night and our job is to present a plan for what our needs are and then let the funding authorities decide. This would be like us drafting our requested budget based on what we are told we are getting verses what we need.

The News Post also has people believing that we are making a decision tomorrow. We are not!

It is a public hearing and any vote will be taken at our next meeting. I want to make it clear that tomorrow I look forward to hearing from residents about the proposed plan, but if you are coming to tell us that your community needs the school more than the other, please don’t. We know how much both communities need their new school.

I speak as someone who’s mother was the Principal of Urbana the last time it got a major renovation and who was the Principal of Hillcrest its first 16 years. I will not pit one community against the other!

Folks, lets use your energy to find a way to make this happen instead of waving the white flag! I have the utmost confidence in Ray Barnes and his staff and I will support their plan!


FCBOEmembersPublic Hearing on the 2015 Superintendent’s Recommended Educational Facilities Master Plan
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
7:30 p.m.
Board Room
191 South East Street,
Frederick, Maryland

Agenda Item Details

Meeting: Sep 09, 2015 – Public Hearing on the 2015 Superintendent’s Recommended Educational Facilities Master Plan [7:30 p.m.]

Category: Public Hearing

Subject: Board of Education Public Hearing on 2015 Superintendent’s Recommended Educational Facilities Master Plan [7:30 pm]

Type: Information, Discussion
Goals

  • Aspirational Goal 3 Resource Allocation – FCPS will pursue and utilize all resources strategically and responsibly to achieve identified outcomes and inspire public confidence.
  • Aspirational Goal 4 Family and Community Involvement – FCPS will nurture relationships with families and the entire community, sharing responsibility for student success and demonstrating pride in all aspects of our school system.
  • Aspirational Goal 5 Health and Safety – FCPS will promote a culture fostering wellness and civility for students and staff.

(SIGN-UP SHEET FOR PUBLIC COMMENT AVAILABLE AT 6 P.M.)

PURPOSE OF PRESENTATION: Public hearing to accept comments on the 2015 Draft Superintendent’s Recommended Educational Facilities Master Plan (EFMP).

BACKGROUND/SUMMARY: Each year, the Board of Education of Frederick County (BOE) reviews and updates the ten-year EFMP for the Frederick County Public Schools. This plan serves a number of purposes, some of which include the following:

  • To inform the public about long-range plans for educational facility improvements in Frederick County.
  • To present long-range enrollment projections and future facility needs.
  • To coordinate future new educational facility locations with county and municipal officials.
  • To coordinate with state officials regarding future facility needs and funding requirements.
  • To establish a schedule of needed major renovation and maintenance projects for existing buildings.
  • To comply with state regulations for an annual update of the local jurisdiction’s facilities plan.

PROCESS STATEMENT: The Draft Superintendent’s Recommended EFMP is the first draft of the plan, and was presented to the BOE in August for information and discussion. The BOE will hear public comment at tonight’s public hearing. Following review of public comments, the BOE will make such changes as it deems appropriate. The BOE is scheduled to approve the plan as well as a prioritized list of fiscal year 2017 major and systemic capital project funding requests at the September 23, 2015 BOE meeting. Electronic copies of the plan may be found at http://www.fcps.org/facilities/Educational-Facilities-Master-Plan.cfm.

PRESENTER(S) & TITLE(S):
Beth Pasierb, Supervisor, Facilities Planning

SUBMITTED BY:
Ray Barnes, Chief Operating Officer
09.09.15 Draft Superintendent’s Recommended Educational Facilities Master Plan_backup1.pdf (21,276 KB)

FCPS500w


See the following:

Frederick News Post
Gardner: Not enough money to keep Frederick County school construction on schedule
Thursday, August 27, 2015

Frederick News Post
Fight continues for which elementary school to be built first, Urbana or west Frederick
Saturday, September 5, 2015

Envision Frederick County
Citizen to Council member Chmelik: Advocate for critical new school in your district
September 5, 2015

Envision Frederick County
A very tired “mommy crusader” writes to the Board of Education
September 4, 2015

NOTE: Envision Frederick County will also be publishing one or two pieces from folks advocating for Butterfly Ridge Elementary School (on Butterfly Lane, in the City of Frederick).