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Long-Awaited Elementary School Site Emerges

School planners introduce Ducketts Lane as home for northeast elementary school, board moves to acquire property.

The Howard County Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday night to reacquire property on Ducketts Lane in Elkridge for construction of an elementary school to help alleviate school overcrowding.

Board member Brian Meshkin noted that the county previously owned the property on Ducketts Lane just south of Kyle Leaf Court. Ken Roey, director of facilities for Howard County Public School System, confirmed the school system owned the land 20 years ago.

At the school board’s June 21 meeting, Roey said he believed it was possible to open a new elementary school on Ducketts Lane within the timeframe outlined by enrollment projections.

“I’m cautiously optimistic we can open elementary school #41 in August 2013,” said Roey. “It’s going to require tremendous coordination, doing things in the most expedient manner possible, but I do believe we can do it.”

The school board voted June 9 to approve the design for an elementary school without having a site for it. Roey said the approved schematic for the 600-pupil school would fit within the footprint of the Ducketts Lane site so long as the school system could get permission to fill in wetlands for a parking lot. He estimated the approval process would take 6-9 months.

School board member Frank Aquino said he was concerned about the wetlands. Joel Gallihue, manager of school planning, explained that the wetlands on the site were not “considered as urgent for retention” because they were not contiguous.

“We have had preliminary discussions at several levels and we’ve been assured from agency heads that we will have full cooperation,” said Roey.

According to Gallihue, most of the students at the school would be coming from . He said students may switch to .

With Elkridge Elementary projected to be at 115.4 percent capacity in 2012, one school board member said she wasn’t sure whether Ducketts Lane would be the solution.

“I had assumed there would be great relief to the Elkridge Elementary area,” said Sandra French. “I’m really confused as to why you’re saying that Elkridge may not get relief until 2019.”

The plan took into account redistricting, said Gallihue, a concept the board will be evaluating in the coming year.

“This is not the only plan, and it’s not an approved plan,” said Roey.

“This is just a feasible plan for acquisition,” added Gallihue.

There will be a public hearing on the site July 14.

Sandy Lee Byerly June 23, 2011 at 03:18 PM
It is amazing how all of a sudden that the BOE found this tract of land. At least the children of Elkridge won't have to travel Route 100 through Anne Arundel Co to get to a school in Howard County located in an Industrial Park.
S.S. in Elkridge June 25, 2011 at 01:23 AM
I live in that area and I am highly opposed to building a school for the following reasons: 1. There are two elementary schools already within 2 miles of this proposed site. 2. It had been considered for a sight when Elkridge Elementary was built. The site was not deemed fit for a school OR a post office. What has changed? Desparation? 3. The infrastructure is not there: sewer, roads, etc. 4. I simply don't want it near my house; too much noise and traffic.
Adam R June 28, 2011 at 01:52 AM
Well lets see: 1. you already have your property behind truck terminal (ABF) nothing could be worse than that 2 you will finally get traffic light onto RT 1 3. your property values will go up 20% because your are within walking distance to an elementary school 4. your infrastructure will improve after facility is completed (it might suck during construction) Enjoy it!
kathy June 28, 2011 at 11:30 AM
The entrance to Ducketts Lane is a terrible intersection...hope the county improves it! Lived there for 7 years and pulling out onto route 1 is a nightmare! Have seen too many accidents there!!! The trucks adjacent to Ducketts Lane creates even more car mishaps...why put it there???
S.S. in Elkridge August 03, 2011 at 05:42 PM
Stop the building of a 600+ student school in our quiet neighborhood. PLEASE come out and voice your opinion to the Manager of Howard County School Planning! Spread the word. Tuesday Aug 9th, 6-8pm Elkridge Senior Center, at the Elkridge Library 6540 Washington Blvd. Elkridge, MD 21075

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