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Discussion on Ducketts Lane School Site Continues

School system officials will meet with residents on Aug. 9 in Elkridge.

Ducketts Lane residents worried about a school potentially coming to their neighborhood are giving school officials pause in their plans.

School planners will hold an Aug. 9 meeting at the so residents can “get more information about the site, the plans and the process,” said Patti Caplan, spokeswoman for Howard County Public Schools.

“It became clear at the [July 15] that neighbors adjacent to the site needed more information and an opportunity to ask questions," she continued, adding that these types of meetings are held “if circumstances warrant.”

Caplan explained that “sometimes there is general agreement on a site and very little public interest. Other times, we find that we need to get additional information to the community or correct misinformation that [is] circling.”

Meanwhile, Ducketts Lane residents have created a flyer promoting the event. Their flyer reads: “ATTENTION, HOMEOWNERS! Is this what you want in your peaceful, quiet neighborhood?...Ducketts Lane for 600+ students and 80+ staff and faculty starting in the spring 2012, and opening for the 2013 school year! Imagine the traffic nightmares, the buses, all the extra people, not to mention the disturbance of wetlands!”

The manager of school planning said it is routine to have this type of public meeting.

“The public hearing is standard procedure,” said Joel Gallihue, manager of school planning. At the July 15 school board meeting, “It was suggested that staff be available to the community for questions. The community meeting evolved from that discussion.”

Three residents who live near the proposed site testified at the public hearing, stating that they did not want the school near them because of traffic and parking. There was also concern that the proposal wasn’t well publicized.

“Our objective is to provide the community with accurate information … and have them feel that their questions and concerns have been heard and addressed as much as possible,” said Caplan.

The meeting will be on Tues., Aug. 9, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the .

S.S. in Elkridge August 05, 2011 at 01:21 AM
For those of you interested, there will be a community meeting at the Sr. Center at the Elkridge Library on Tuesday, August 9, 2011, 6:00-8:00 p.m. Learn more about what the Board of Ed is proposing and how it will affect our community. I, personally, am opposed to this site for many reasons including the ones sited above. And, yes, I live in the immediate area and see this as a no win, long term. Let's not be short sighted.
Ginny Stickles August 05, 2011 at 12:20 PM
I think what everyone fails to realize that this problem is not caused the BOE but Howard County. If the building on every postage stamp lot does not stop soon this will never end. The reason the school would have to be built is because all the NEW housing is bringing in children that are entitled to an education. Elkridge happens to be an affordable place to live for a young family starting out. The organization to be upset with is our county council representatives as well as planning and zoning for allowing all the new construction of homes. Boils down to the all mighty tax dollar brought in by the homes.
S.S. in Elkridge August 08, 2011 at 03:33 PM
Ginny, Agreed. However, someone needs to hear from the community. We have also asked our rep, Courtney Watson to come to the meeting. It seems that there is poor long-term planning, and a whole lot of last minute scrambling around. I know how things trickle down hill, but someone needs to listen. We also need to be electing the right people into these positions.
edb August 08, 2011 at 04:22 PM
@ S Straub Ginny is absolutely right, but this has been going on for several years now with the acquisition of land for new schools. It just seems like scrambling around because the site was just made public (school board=secrecy) I'm not so sure a school on Ducketts Lane is a good idea either, but the Coca Cola Drive deal was no better. The fact is that a new school is desperately needed and if you spend any time in EES you would realize that small classrooms with 25+ children are not conducive to good learning. There will be no easy answer to this problem and not everyone will be happy, but if no school is built the BOE will be forced to do a massive redistricting and I can guarantee that NO ONE will be happy. I would rather have am elementary school in my backyard than the CSX Intermodal that is in the works. Just remember that not everyone will be happy but that we need to provide a good education for the children in this area of the county....we work and pay taxes just like Columbia/Ellicott City and we deserve the best for our children too.
Geoff Pickett August 09, 2011 at 06:44 PM
Someone should ask the question of when the final decision needs to be made by in order to ensure that a school will be open in the fall of 2013.

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