Radebaugh Park to break ground Aug. 28 in eastern part of Towson – Baltimore Sun

A groundbreaking ceremony date is set for Radebaugh Park, a future park in Aigburth Manor.

County spokeswoman Ellen Kobler said construction on the $572,400 project will begin in late August, with a ceremony Tuesday, Aug. 28, at 11 a.m. on the Maryland Avenue side of the site.

11 Maryland Ave. will be the new entrance to the park, said County Councilman David Marks, who represents the area.

Read full article: Radebaugh Park to break ground Aug. 28 in eastern part of Towson – Baltimore Sun

BCPS will limit redistricting and consider conditions of high schools as overcrowding fixes are studied

Next month, Sage Policy Group will start another round of community-input meetings related to its study of how to solve overcrowding in Baltimore County high schools. Going forward, it will be tasked with taking into account the structural quality of the schools — something that was missing from its original mandate.

BCPS interim superintendent Verletta White announced the change in scope in a letter posted to the system’s website:

“Baltimore County Public Schools (“BCPS”) will work with Sage to ensure that building conditions are taken into consideration as we move forward. We have asked that Sage proceed with this recommendation and make the consideration of conditions transparent in the scenarios presented in the public information sessions in September,” White wrote.

Many parents had expressed concern that Sage had said considering the buildings themselves was not part of their project. That was seen as especially problematic at Lansdowne High and at Dulaney High — the latter was a potential spot to redistrict some students from the overcrowded Towson High. Parents said it made no sense to add new students to schools that were structurally unsound.

Read full article: BCPS will limit redistricting and consider conditions of high schools as overcrowding fixes are studied

Firm presents 7 scenarios to address Balto. Co. high school overcrowding; all include new Towson High – Baltimore Sun

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.

Read full article: Firm presents 7 scenarios to address Balto. Co. high school overcrowding; all include new Towson High – Baltimore Sun

Community gets more details about possible high school overcrowding solutions, gives input

On Thursday night at Carver High School in Towson, Anirban Basu of Sage Policy Group told approximately 200 parents and community members about the seven scenarios his firm has developed to relieve overcrowding in Baltimore County high schools.

But, Basu said before the presentation, those options “are likely to change” based on the feedback he’s already received and the input that’s still to come.

One thing he’s been hearing — and it was echoed Thursday night — is concern that his contract with Baltimore County Public Schools only looks at enrollment capacity but does not take into account the structural quality of the facilities.

For example, Dulaney High is not overcrowded, but it’s been ranked by BCPS as one of the worst high school buildings in the county. Does it make sense, parents ask, to redistrict more students into a crumbling school that lacks air conditioning?

Read full article: Community gets more details about possible high school overcrowding solutions, gives input

BCPS public-input sessions on overcrowding happening this month

School issues might not be top of mind for many people during the summer months, but it’s actually a critical time when it comes to providing feedback about how Baltimore County Public Schools should deal with its high-school overcrowding problems.

And one of the trickiest problems to solve is how to handle the huge overcrowding at Towson High, which sits on the smallest plot of land of any high school in the county. The students who are currently in Towson-area elementary and middle schools will likely be the most affected by whatever solution BCPS chooses.

BCPS hired Sage Policy Group to come up with a plan to relieve overcrowding in high schools, and the firm has been holding focus groups to hear from community members. Additionally, there will be three public-input sessions this month:

Read full article: BCPS public-input sessions on overcrowding happening this month

Towson Marriott contract ends, student housing renovations begin – Baltimore Sun

Towson University has begun renovations that will transform the Towson University Marriott Conference Hotel into student housing, according to a news release.

The 15-floor hotel’s contract ended June 30 and the university started renovations on July 1.

The school plans to open 200 beds at “The Residences at 10 West Burke Avenue” to upper-level transfer students this fall.

The project will include renovating rooms, installing campus Wi-Fi and converting lower levels into office space for Housing and Residence Life staff, according to the university.

Read full article: Towson Marriott contract ends, student housing renovations begin – Baltimore Sun

Two years after social host ordinance, complaints of off-campus parties near Towson University plummet – Baltimore Sun

Two years after the social host ordinance took effect, a Baltimore County initiative designed to quell disruptive and loud college parties in residential neighborhoods, residents say they are seeing positive results.

“You can tell from the numbers,” said Greg Bauer, president of the community association for Burkleigh Square, one of the neighborhoods hardest hit by raucous students from Towson University. “If we’re not pleased, something’s very wrong.”

Bauer was referring to the number of complaints of off-campus disruptive behavior, which have plummeted since the social host ordinance went into effect in February 2016.

The 2015-2016 school year saw 51 total complaints about off-campus student gatherings around Towson, according to data provided by Towson University. Two years later, in the 2017-2018 year, there were just 12 complaints.

“We’re incredibly happy with how it’s worked,” said Joe La Bella, president of Towson Manor Village Community Association.

The county ordinance, spearheaded by Councilman David Marks, who represents the area, gives police the power to issue a civil citation to those hosting an “unruly social gathering.”

Read full article: Two years after social host ordinance, complaints of off-campus parties near Towson University plummet – Baltimore Sun

As Towson High population grows, BCPS wants public input on next move

As it figures out which high schools to rebuild and whether redistricting should happen, officials with Baltimore County Public Schools are conducting focus groups and have scheduled three public information sessions.

BCPS hired Sage Policy Group to conduct a high school capacity study to help guide its plans. When the school board approved the contract for the study, the timeline said the preliminary recommendations would be released in May 2018. But officials say that date has been moved back.

Projections that BCPS released earlier this year showed large increase in the student population of Towson High School.

The “Students Count” report from BCPS says that Towson High is projected to have 2,022 students in the year 2026; that’s 306 more students than last year’s projections showed for the same year, and would put Towson at 159 percent capacity given its current building.

Read full article: As Towson High population grows, BCPS wants public input on next move

Receiver appointed to carry out Chabad teardown order – Baltimore Sun

A Baltimore County Circuit Court judge has appointed a receiver to carry out a 2017 court order to demolish a building addition in Towson, court documents show. The building, owned by Jewish group Chabad-Lubavitch, has been at the center of a bitter legal dispute with its Towson neighbors.

Hasidic Jewish organization Friends of Lubavitch, which runs Jewish outreach program Chabad, was ordered to tear down the structure at 14 Aigburth Road last April because it violates setback covenants in the deed.

Amid a series of appeals, Judge Susan Souder ordered the sherriff’s office to seize the property, and appointed attorney Deborah Dopkin on May 15 to carry out the order. Dopkin has the authority to hire contractors at Friends of Lubavitch’s expense.

“I have every confidence that she’ll do what the judge required,” said Michael McCann, a lawyer who represents the plaintiffs, including neighbor Robin Zoll and the Aigburth Manor Neighborhood Association.

The Sherriff’s Office of Baltimore County also was ordered to seize the property to carry out the order.

Read full article: Receiver appointed to carry out Chabad teardown order – Baltimore Sun

Towson University investigating alleged assault as possible anti-Semitic hate crime – Baltimore Sun

Towson University is investigating a possible hate crime after police responded to an alleged assault against two members of a Jewish fraternity near campus early Sunday morning, according to a Baltimore County police report.

The two victims, both members of Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi, told police that they were walking to a house in the unit block of Aigburth Road at 2:12 a.m. Sunday when two suspects followed them, shouting “F— the Jews” and calling them an ethnic slur. The assailants, the report said, then followed the victims to the front of the house and began to punch one of the victims in the face.

“He believes the assault was motivated by his religious beliefs,” the police report said of one of the victims.

The victim told police he recognized the assailants as Towson University students.

One of the victims called 911, and the responding police officers arrived at the scene and saw the two suspects standing over one of the victims and yelling at him, the report said. The officer then told the parties to separate and saw injuries on the victim’s face.

Both suspects appeared intoxicated, the report said. Police know the identities of both assailants, but the Baltimore Sun Media Group is not publishing their identities because they have not yet been charged.

Read full article: Towson University investigating alleged assault as possible anti-Semitic hate crime – Baltimore Sun