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Two Middle Schools Benefit From State Construction Funds

Anne Arundel County Public Schools has tentatively secured $18 million from the state for school facility improvements at 15 different county schools.

Severn River Middle School and Magothy River Middle School both stand to benefit from a $336 million construction fund to be distributed to schools statewide.

Magothy River Middle is set to get $748,000 to replace its electrical system, and Severn River Middle will receive $1.68 million for an open space conversion. 

After Gov. Martin O’Malley announced plans Monday to spend $336 million on school construction projects throughout the state, an Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) official expressed optimism about receiving necessary funding to finance local facility improvements.

For the 2014 fiscal year starting in July of this year, AACPS asked the state to finance certain school construction projects—ranging from the revitalization of Annapolis Elementary to kindergarten additions throughout the county. Superintendent Kevin Maxwell’s proposed $239 million capital budget for fiscal year 2014 asks the state to provide about $47.2 for facility upgrades.

As of December, the school system had tentatively secured about $18 million of the requested $47.2 million, said school sytem chief operating officer Alex Szachnowicz.

Prior to O’Malley’s announcement Monday, Szachnowicz said Maryland State Board of Education officials told him to expect about $250 million for school construction projects throughout the state. So the $83 million increase (on top of the $250 million he was expecting) left Szachnowicz optimistic about the funding county schools would receive.

Szachnowicz said he personally hadn’t seen the numbers announced by O’Malley, but expressed excitement about the amount earmarked for school facility improvements.

“If the governor’s announcement is in fact $336 million, we take that to be terrific news because it increases the available pool of money,” Szachnowicz said.

State funding for school construction projects is a four-step process, Szachnowicz said, with the next round occurring on Jan. 23 in Annapolis as AACPS addresses the Board of Public Works.

“Then finally, when the General Assembly concludes its activity in April … we’ll  hopefully also get an increase of state funding,” Szachnowicz said.

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