Mayor Rawlings-Blake and School Construction Partners Discuss Landmark Baltimore City School Construction Effort
Wednesday Apr 10th, 2013
Better Schools. Safer Streets. Stronger Neighborhoods.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD. (APRIL 10, 2013) – Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake led a gathering of key city school construction stakeholders, including City Schools CEO Andrés A. Alonso, School Board Chair Neil E. Duke, Maryland Stadium Authority Executive Director Michael J. Frenz, and elected officials to discuss the details of the proposed Baltimore City Public School Construction and Revitalization Act of 2013 authorized by the Maryland General Assembly during the 2013 session pending Governor Martin O’Malley’s signature.
Mayor Rawlings-Blake said the Baltimore City Public Schools Construction and Revitalization Act represents the most important legislative achievement for the City in decades. Under this school construction program unique to Baltimore City, the City of Baltimore, State Government, and City Schools provide approximately $60 million annually to finance up to $1.1 billion in School Construction & Renovation Bonds issued by the Maryland Stadium Authority.
The funding is expected to support construction of as many as 15 new replacement schools and more than 30 significantly renovated schools within 10 years. The initiative is supported by a doubling of City funding for school construction over historic levels and by state lottery proceeds phased in over 3-years.
“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 began. “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.”
Once established, the program requires a four-way memorandum of understanding with the City of Baltimore, City Schools, the Maryland Stadium Authority, and the Interagency Committee on School Construction (IAC). The four-way MOU, which must be completed by October 31, 2013, lays out the roles and responsibilities of each of the parties involved in funding and implementing the 10-year buildings plan. The Maryland Stadium Authority will oversee the financing of the 10-year buildings plan and partner with City Schools to carry out the actual building renovations and replacements. Construction should begin in the 2014-15 school year.
”We could not have reached this point in the 21st-century buildings work without close partnership among the district, the city and the state over many, many months,” said City Schools CEO Andrés A. Alonso. “That partnership now continues as we enter the critical stage of identifying and articulating the roles and responsibilities for each of the parties. This is essential for successful implementation of the 10-year plan, and I look forward to getting it done so the actual buildings work can begin.”
“This is a unique assignment, but we willingly accept this tremendous responsibility,” added Michael J. Frenz, Executive Director of the Maryland Stadium Authority. “We promise to apply our full resources and expertise to give Baltimore’s greatest asset – its future generation -- the tools to succeed in quality educational facilities – on time and on budget.”
“We applaud City Schools, Baltimore City, and the Maryland Stadium Authority for undertaking a bold transformation of school facilities throughout the city, and look forward to working within a four-way partnership to carry out this grand educational and community vision,” said Dr. David Lever, Executive Director of the Public School Construction Program.