Annapolis school construction funding update

This past Monday, County Executive Leopold submitted his proposed Fiscal Year 2011 budget to the County Council.  His proposed budget will have a significant impact on school construction within the Annapolis feeder system.

The good news is that under the County Executive’s proposed budget, Germantown Elementary School will proceed as planned (this assumes, of course, that the County Council keeps this project unchanged.)  The bad news is that the County Executive’s proposed budget either delays or completely eliminates planned funding for construction of several other Annapolis-area schools.  The schools negatively impacted by the proposed budget include Phoenix Annapolis, Annapolis Elementary, Mills-Parole Elementary, Rolling Knolls Elementary, West Annapolis Elementary, Hillsmere Elementary, and Bates Middle.

The final decision on the budget rests with the County Council, which is scheduled to vote on the budget by the end of this month.  The County Council has scheduled two public hearings to receive input on the budget. I encourage parents to share their views with their elected councilmembers. Although we are facing extraordinarily difficult budget times, we cannot afford to reverse the positive momentum we have been experiencing in the Annapolis feeder system.

  • Monday, May 10
    7 p.m.
    Old Mill High School
  • Wednesday, May 12
    7 p.m.
    County Council Chambers
    Arundel Center, 44 Calvert Street

I asked George Margolies, Chief of Staff to Superintendent Kevin Maxwell, to explain the specific impact of the County Executive’s proposed budget.  His response follows below.  He also attached this chart to use as a reference.

Josh-

As requested, I am attaching  a chart, prepared by Alex Szachnowicz’s staff, of the six year CIP (2011-2016) for the Annapolis feeder system, showing the schedule planned by the Board of Education versus that of the County Executive for each of the schools. You will see this broken down for the feasibility study stage and the design stage, as well as the beginning and completion of construction.

Insofar as the FY 2011 budget is concerned, the County Executive has eliminated $1.36 million in project funding for Annapolis Elementary School for design work, instead pushing it back until Fiscal Year 2014. Whereas, we had scheduled construction to start in Fiscal Year 2012, the County  Executive would delay the project from even starting until Fiscal Year 2015.

Similarly, the County Executive has eliminated $1.24 million in FY 2011 project funding for Phoenix Annapolis for design work,  instead delaying it until Fiscal Year 2014. Again, whereas we had scheduled construction to start in Fiscal Year 2012, the County Executive would delay the project from even starting until Fiscal Year 2015.

As you will also see on the attached chart, the County Executive has chosen to eliminate the funding for both  the feasibility studies and design work for Mills-Parole Elementary School ($1.02 million), Rolling Knolls Elementary School ($1.01 million), and West Annapolis Elementary School ($853,000) from the FY 2011 budget.

As you are aware, for all of these projects, we cannot leverage state construction dollars until the feasibility studies and design work-which must be funded locally-are completed.  Until then, our projects are not even eligible. At a time when all 24 jurisdictions are competing for limited State dollars, Anne Arundel would have less of an  opportunity to get its slice of the State pie, should the County Executive prevail.

Thank you for your support.

George

George Margolies
Chief of Staff
Anne Arundel County Public Schools

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