Garrett County school board accepts report

Cumberland Times News

OAKLAND — The Strategic Facilities Committee, established and appointed in March by the Garrett County Board of Education, detailed its final report during a public meeting Tuesday with recommendations to address enrollment, demographic data and the community’s concerns and preferences.

Some recommendations in the capital projects plan include the establishment of a joint working group composed of staff of the Board of Education and county government to further identify and coordinate the program; to add security in the form of five security vestibules that help improve control of the school environment by allowing administrators and staff to know who’s in the building at all times; to address disruptive behavior by building dedicated spaces for de-escalation that get students back in the classroom as soon as possible; to undertake projects identified by the superintendent and staff that are in need of upgrade or replacement; and to enclose open-space classrooms to reduce noise and distractions for students.

Funding for the capital program is estimated to cost $50.6 million over six years, an average of $8.4 million per year.

David Lever, facilitator of Education Facilities Planning LLC and a part of the facilities commission, provided a comparison using current replacement value.

The replacement value of county schools is approximately $232 million and the industry standard capital expenditure is 2%. When added with deferred maintenance, the total in comparison comes to $99 million, an average of $9.9 million per year.

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$100,000 grant coming to Garrett County

The Garrett County Republican

McHENRY — The Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area Maryland Heritage Area was notified that one of the Garrett County projects on the reserve list was awarded funding by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority.

Garrett College Foundation was awarded a project grant for $100,000 for development of the Garrett College to Ag Hall Heritage Trail.

“In July, the Town of Oakland received funding for the Oakland Heritage Trail and the Chamber (of Commerce) was awarded a Heritage Area management grant totaling $129,631 so we were thrilled to receive additional funding from the reserve list this year,” said Kim Folk, heritage area & groups director for the chamber. “That brings the FY20 grand total of MHAA grant funding to $229,631 for the Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area. These grants will allow the recipients to expand awareness of Garrett County’s historical and cultural heritage.”

The Ag Hall Heritage trail will provide locals and visitors a trail from Garrett College to the Agriculture Heritage Hall at the Fairgrounds, both located on Mosser Road. This trail will connect the two largest event venues in the county, as well as adding to the counties already growing and extensive trail system. Interpretive signage will be included along the route.

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Conversations commence about what to do with empty school buildings

iscussions about what to do with the empty buildings when three Carroll County public schools close are underway, though, no decisions have been made.

“All these things are in the beginning stages,” said Commissioner Steve Wantz, R-District 1. “We have just scratched the surface of what to do with all these buildings.”

A joint committee was formed between the Carroll County Board of Education and county government to determine what to with the buildings that are due to become empty as a result of the Board of Education’s decision in December to close Charles Carroll Elementary, New Windsor Middle and North Carroll High at the end of the 2015-2016 school year. The committee had met once as of Thursday, according to Jon O’Neal, assistant superintendent of administration for Carroll County Public Schools.

Although both county and public school officials say no decisions have been made regarding future use of the school buildings, they will be surplussed to the county if they are not used for educational purposes, O’Neal said, and the county will then determine their use.

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Delaney Applauds Head Start Grant to Garrett County Community Action Committee

WASHINGTON – March 12, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced a $818,182 grant to the Garrett County Community Action Committee for Head Start. Head Start is a federal program that promotes school readiness for children under five. –

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Hogan supports effort to start school after Labor Day

……….Proponents say a later start would give families an additional week of summer to spend at the beach or Deep Creek Lake, attend the Maryland State Fair or simply spend money at Maryland businesses — and produce additional tax revenue. The Bureau of Revenue Estimates projects a post-Labor Day start would boost economic activity by $74.3 million and contribute $7.7 million in revenue to state and local coffers.

Hogan became the 13,244th signer of the petition. He joins Gov. Martin O’Malley, who added his name at a Board of Public Works meeting last year.


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Petition says start school after Labor Day

Annapolis, MD — Comptroller Peter Franchot, joined by Governor-elect Larry Hogan, Ocean City Mayor Richard W. Meehan, state Senator James N. Mathias Jr., and other elected officials, as well as small business owners, educators and tourism officials, today enthusiastically thanked Marylanders for their overwhelming support of his petition drive to start public schools after Labor Day. More than 13,240

Marylanders from every corner of the state signed the “Let Summer Be Summer,” petition, far exceeding the 10,000 signature goal.  The campaign kicked-off last August on the Ocean City Boardwalk and Deep Creek Lake, and today the list of supporters will be presented to members of the Maryland General Assembly.

“This is a grassroots, citizen-driven effort that has gathered tremendous support from all across our great state,” said Comptroller Franchot. “13,244 Marylanders have sent a clear message that starting school after Labor Day will give families, students, teachers and small businesses the break they need – and deserve. It gives students time to learn life lessons beyond the classroom, teachers time to recharge their batteries and small businesses much needed help during tough economic times. I am confident we can make this meaningful adjustment and continue to end the school year in early to mid-June.”

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Eight modular classrooms to be constructed at Garrett County school


OAKLAND — An update on the construction progress of the eight modular classrooms that will be placed at Broad Ford Elementary School will be provided during the Garrett County Board of Education’s work session Monday.

The modular classrooms are needed to help alleviate overcrowding at the school, which has been going on for several years, according to Jim Morris, Garrett County Public Schools supervisor of research, evaluation and information.

Mobile Modular Management Corp. is constructing the classrooms and each classroom is approximately 790 square feet, according to Morris. The modular classrooms will be located on the southeast corner of the school.

Garrett school board approves consolidation recommendations

From Staff Reports

Cumberland Times-News

OAKLAND — The Garrett County Board of Education voted to approve the six consolidation recommendations made by the School Attendance Area Committee. The 4-0 vote was taken during a special business session Tuesday. Matthew Paugh, associate member, wasn’t present during the meeting.

The recommendations will assign a boundary for the 2014/2015 school year to Swan Meadow Elementary School using the existing transportaion routes and will allow students currently attending Swan Meadow to continue to do so. Students who currently attend Yough Glades Elementary School will have the option of remaining there or attending Swan Meadow. The recommendations also suggest that Swan Meadow’s goal of enrolling 12 additional students be reviewed in April 2015 and that the kindergarten program at the school be implemented for the 2014/2015 school year.

An additional recommendation includes assigning the mobile modular classrooms, already approved by the board and the Garrett County commissioners, to Broad Ford Elementary School. Another recommendation includes reassigning the Glades West to Tomar Drive area to the Crellin district.

The consolidation plan has been a challenge, Jane Wildesen, supervisor of elementary education for the board and a member of the committee, said in a previous interview with the Times-News.

Bus transportation will remain as is and will not be extended to encompass any of the proposed changes for the school year. Any student who can use established routes will continue to be provided that bus service.

Crellin and Swan Meadow start and end times will be adjusted to be consistent with the remaining elementary schools in the county beginning with this school year. Parents/guardians of students who attend Crellin and Swan Meadow schools will be notified how the time change will affect their children as the school year approaches.

The consolidation plan in its entirety can be viewed at

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Garrett officials hope state comes through with money to help keep schools open

Friendsville, Route 40, Crellin at risk of closure

Elaine Blaisdell Cumberland Times-News

OAKLAND — Garrett County Commission Chairman Robert Gatto, who serves as an ex-officio member on the board of education, made a motion at Tuesday’s commission meeting to designate $2.2 million to the board for fiscal 2015 with the amount to be reduced if funding is secured from the state. The motion died for lack of a second.

Gatto made the motion after numerous educators and residents pleaded that the commission provide a funding number.

“I came here tonight thinking we were going to get a number,” said board president Cynthia Downton.

Commissioner Jim Raley indicated that he would like to provide the board with a funding number Dec. 17.

“I’m concerned that we are going to walk out of this room tonight without some form of solution. I can tell you the board of commissioners is not prepared to give some kind of a number because I’m not sure what that number needs to be,” said Raley.

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Garrett County may close 3 schools

Crellin, Friendsville, Route 40 elementaries fall victim to budget deficit

From Staff Reports Cumberland Times-News

OAKLAND — Garrett County Public Schools is proceeding with the school closure process for Crellin, Friendsville and Route 40 elementary schools, according to a news release provided by Janet Wilson, superintendent of county schools.

The school system is facing an estimated $2.2 million deficit for the 2014–2015 school year, resulting in the decision to proceed with the school closure process.

At last week’s board of education meeting, the board released information concerning the elementary school facility needs assessment and master plan study for its public schools.

The $61,680 study recommended closing two schools in the northern end of the county and one school in the southern end and reconfiguring all grades in the northern schools and adjusting school boundary lines.

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