Board of Education votes to construct new high school

I-270

The vote on Brunswick High School was split 5-2

BRUNSWICK, Md. (WDVM) — A dated Frederick County, Maryland high school will be completely rebuilt after a split vote by the Board of Education.

Brunswick High School has stood in its namesake city since 1965.

It’s undergone at least three renovations, but as parents of students at the school will say, it still needs more work.

“You can see how old the school is even by the exterior and the interior as well. It’s time for something new,” explained parent of a Brunswick High School student and member of the city council, Angel White.

The high school was slated as a future project in 2017, and last month a feasibility study was completed with an analysis of the structure and a review of four options on how to renovate or reconstruct the building.

“Three of those [scenerios] involved either renovating parts or all the existing facility, and the fourth option was actually building a whole new facility,” explained president of the Frederick County Board of Education, Brad Young.

At a recent board of education meeting, those options were discussed.

The Brunswick City Council penned a letter in support of rebuilding an entirely new school, which could cost about $96 million.

A majority of board members saw the benefit for that option in terms of safety and continuity.

“Options one, two and three meant dislocating students for an extended period of time. [It] would have put many of the students out in portables for up to two or three years, which also has safety concerns. You’d have a whole class of students that probably had their whole high school career experience in portables,” Young explained.

Young added that security for the portable would be limited and not as safe compared to concrete school structure.

Two members voted against the motion for scenario four, favoring options that included renovating the building.  

Vice president for the county Board of Education Joy Schaefer, says the enrollment capacity was increased to 900 students during the meeting and that could change the new cost for the option that already has the biggest price tag.

“I am not comfortable and I wasn’t comfortable approving a motion that relied on no cost estimate and sort of a wish and a prayer of what we hope the cost might end up being. That to me was not responsible decision making,” Schaefer said.

The project will move forward as the board seeks funding for the brand new school.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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