The following letter was sent from Howard County Executive Calvin Ball to the Howard County Board of Education on October 14th (note – credit to HoCoBOE member Chao Wu for posting this letter on his blog):
Dear Chair Ellis and Members of the Board of Education:
The High School #14 Task Force was established in March 2018 to recommend locations for an Elkridge area high school. Over the past two and a half years, several locations were considered, including: Rockbum Branch Park, Timbers at Troy Golf Course, 6571 Washington Blvd. (UPS Site) and Troy Park. Ongoing community dialogue has occurred, leading to the recommendation of the UPS Site and Troy Park as potential locations for High School #14 in November 2018. Environmental assessments were conducted to evaluate the viability of Troy Park and Timbers at Troy Golf Course, which were released publicly in January. Most recently, in September the Board of Education (BOE) voted to insert High School #14 into the proposed FY2022 Long-Range Master Plan.
With the support of a lengthy and community-driven process to review proposed sites, Troy Park has been identified as our preferred location for High School #14. Our Administration has long supported the need for an Elkridge area high school, maintaining a frequent dialogue with the community throughout our considerations. Based on this dialogue and the recommendation of the High School #14 Task Force, I believe that Troy Park stands alone as the best option for the location of High School #14. Troy Park presents the most cost-efficient, least intrusive option for High School #14, minimizing land acquisition costs associated with some sites while avoiding major impacts on surrounding communities and homeowners.
I commend the Board of Education (BOE) for placing High School #14 back into the BOE’s proposed FY2022 Long-Range Master Plan. It is important to take the next step in advancing this critical project. To that end, I am requesting that the BOE convene the Site Review Committee to begin consideration of Troy Park as the location of High School #14. Convening the Site Review Committee will initiate the site selection process as dictated by Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) Policy 6000 on Site Selection and Acquisition.
I appreciate your consideration of this request as we collectively work as a County to advance the critical High School #14 project. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Here is an image of the letter: