School board approves plan for Mays Chapel school

Board's vote was unanimous

The Baltimore County School Board has given the go-ahead to a plan to build a new elementary school in the Mays Chapel Community, near Timonium.

Mays chapel park is boarded by retirement and assisted living communities..

Residents say they like it the way it is.

"If that park is taken, the only thing they're going to see is sidewalks and streets. There will not be any park of any value to walk," said 81-year-old Korean War veteran Stanley Miller.

Tuesday night's school board meeting was the final chance for residents to present their case; some asked for a delay in the vote, which came just one night after a much larger public hearing on the issue.

"I would like to ask one further time if you would possibly consider deferring your decision until we have an opportunity to work together jointly, collaboratively to find the very best decision," said Mays Chapel resident Penny Noval.

But the school system's experts say Mays Chapel Park is the best place for a 700-seat, $25-million school to relieve over-crowding in the central portion of Baltimore County.

Members of the school board took that recommendation – voting unanimously to approve the plan.

"This site for the past 25 years has been designated as a school site. It is a school site that has been used as a park, and not a park that is being converted into a school," said Lawrence Schmidt, the school board president.

The school system now moves to the planning process -- officials have said no more than half of the park will be used for the new school.

"They need more space for the students. And as a parent of children and grandchildren i realize that. I just think there could be a better location," said Mays Chapel resident John Sullivan.

If all goes as planned the new school would open in the Fall of 2014.

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