Friday, August 12, 2011

More Elkridge Angst

At the risk of offending the sensitivities of the Elkridge community more than I already have, I can’t help but comment on the recent uproar over the proposed Ducketts Lane Elementary School. This is the school site that the HCPSS has offered as an alternative to Oxford Square elementary school site that the community hated.  According to this story by Sara Toth in Explore Howard, the proposed Ducketts Lane site, which sits is an established neighborhood east of I-95,  “has attracted criticism, most from nearby residents worried about parking, traffic and a lack of communication on the part of the board.”


Another rersident, Cynthia Callan went so far as to say that the elementary school would “ruin” the neighborhood.

Right now the property is a vacant wooded lot frequented by people who prefer discreet places to gather. Prior to being designated as a potential elementary school site this property had received site plan approval for over 50 units of age restricted housing. Is that what the community prefers?

At one point in my life I lived right next to Bryant Woods Elementary School in Columbia. Almost every evening I walked out my back door and onto the playing fields, tossing a tennis ball to my two year old Lab. Almost every evening I encounterd other neighbors enjoying the playing fields as well; walking dogs, throwing Frisbees, and such. From my experience, an elementary school is about as good a neighbor as you can ask for. It gives the neighborhood a big yard to play in that they don’t have to cut.

It also provides a place for a community to gather.

Some Elkronians complain that the 10 acre site is too small. According to this story by Elizabeth Janney in Elkridge Path, Leslie Kornreich, a frequent critic of the school system, believes that a larger school should be built somewhere else. 

“I anticipate that this place is going to open overcrowded,” said Kornreich. “Where are the portables going to go?” she asked.”

Ducketts Lane is actually four acres bigger than Bryant Woods Elementary School and will house twice as many students.

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks."
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