During a Thursday night public information session in Towson, Baltimore consulting firm Sage Policy Group presented seven options to solving one problem: current and future overcrowding through 2027 in Baltimore County high schools.
About 100 people attended the meeting held at George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology during which Sage CEO Anirban Basu and his team presented the seven scenarios, each a different combination of utilizing redistricting, conversion to magnet schools and new construction, and costing within a range of $275M and $617M.
Baltimore County is predicted to have a 1,700-seat shortfall in the next decade, according to Sage. With no intervention, Towson High School will be the most overcrowded – the building intended for 1,260 students will have 749 more students than seats by 2027. All seven scenarios include building a new Towson High School.
Four scenarios proposed building a new Loch Raven High; two suggest building a new Lansdowne High; one, a new Sparrows Point High; and one, a new Dulaney High School.
Some scenarios would make use of existing seats, moving students in overcrowded schools to those that are under-capacity. Other scenarios involve moving and expanding magnet programs to redirect magnet students to schools with more space. One scenario proposes building additions at all overcrowded schools. Each involves some combination of redistricting, construction and magnet school shifts.
Towson High sits on only 27.6 acres – by contrast, Dulaney High sits on nearly 43. That means there is not enough land to build a new school adjacent to the old one while the old one is still in use, like the Carver Center did when the new school opened in 2012.