Baltimore City Officials Celebrate Approval of $1.1 Billion School Construction and Renovation Plan
By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, City Schools CEO Andrés A. Alonso, School Board Chair Neil E. Duke, Maryland Stadium Authority Executive Director Michael J. Frenz and many others gathered on Wednesday, April 10, to celebrate the approval by the Maryland General Assembly of the Baltimore City Public School Construction and Revitalization Act of 2013.
The act is considered one of the most important legislative achievements for the city of Baltimore in decades. It calls for the city, the state and the city school system to provide about $60 million a year to finance $1.1 billion in School Construction & Renovation Bonds issued by the Maryland Stadium Authority. Originally conceived by Andrés A. Alonso and supported by Mayor Rawlings-Blake, the plan now just needs Governor Martin O’Malley’s signature.
The $1.1 billion funding will be used to build as many as 15 new schools and renovate over 30 public schools in the next 10 years. This school construction program unique to Baltimore is supported by a doubling of city funding for school construction over historic levels and by state lottery proceeds phased in over three years. The Maryland Stadium Authority will carry out the building renovations and replacements. Construction is scheduled to begin in the 2014-2015 school year.
“I want all of us to thank and applaud Governor O’Malley, Senate President Miller, and House Speaker Busch for their critical support,” Mayor Rawlings-Blake said in a press statement. “This landmark bill not only represents one of the most significant legislative achievements for the City of Baltimore in modern history, it also represents a renewal in the partnership between the City and the State. Our vision of growing Baltimore by 10,000 families depends greatly on our ability to improve public education and this landmark achievement will help us ensure that Baltimore’s best days are ahead.”
Photo credits: www.baltimorecity.gov