ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Senate Budget and Taxation Chair Guy Guzzone, Howard County State Delegation Chair Clarence Lam, Howard County Public Schools Superintendent Michael J. Martirano, County Council Chair Opel Jones, County Council Vice Chair Christiana Rigby, and Board of Education member Jen Mallo to announce a record school construction investment that will create an additional 2,400 spaces for students by 2023.
Howard County is a premier place to live and grow, which is why families choose to raise their children here. Through responsible management and strong partnerships, we can now invest more than $105 million in school construction during the next year, the highest amount in more than two decades. We are building facilities that will foster excellent environments for teaching and learning.
The historic investment also includes over $30 million in total funding for systemic renovations, including:
- Manor Woods Elementary School HVAC and Wastewater Treatment Plant
- Completion of the Guilford Elementary School Exterior Windows and Doors
- West Friendship Elementary School Well
- Completion of the Jeffers Hill Boiler Replacement projects
In Howard County, 65 of 76 schools, or 86 percent, were built before 2000 and require maintenance attention. Since 2018, County Executive Ball has increased County funding for systemic renovation by more than $20 million, which is more than 50 percent higher compared to the previous four-years.
This budget also fulfills requested funding for deferred maintenance, special education program needs, indoor environmental quality, and school security measures.
“All of the school construction funding we’ve provided over time is critical to ensure that these projects move forward, we have to be consistent year after year,” said Senator Guy Guzzone. “This year we’ve secured $35 million of flexible funds that will support the many needed projects for our Howard County school system to provide a great learning experience for our kids countywide. Hammond specifically has been in the works for years and I appreciate the consistent advocacy of my fellow Delegation members to make sure this project comes to completion.”
“Supporting our public schools require strong partnerships,” said Senator Clarence Lam. “That’s why our Howard County Delegation has worked so closely with County Executive Ball, the County Council, and Board of Education to ensure that our local school system receives record funding for renovation and construction of schools.”
"The current major projects at Hammond High School, Talbott Springs Elementary School, and new High School #13, as well as other necessary systemic capital projects, are critical to ensuring our buildings are safe and conducive to the instructional environment," said HCPSS Superintendent Michael J. Martirano, Ed.D. "I greatly appreciate the efforts of Dr. Ball, the County Council, the Board of Education, school system staff, and the elected officials and partners who have worked together to provide significant investments to address our needs."
“I am beyond grateful for the unwavering support of County Executive Ball and the State Delegation for their steadfast leadership securing $105.9 million for school construction,” said County Council Chair Opel Jones. “The County Executive’s record setting investments in education have increased funding for school construction by $78 million in the past four years. Advancing academic opportunities for our future leaders is vital and I am excited about the commitment to systemic renovations to our school systems priority projects.”
“On behalf of the Board of Education, thank you Dr. Ball for your commitment to the needs of Howard County students, teachers, staff and families,” said Board of Education member Jen Mallo. “And thank you to the members of the County Council and our community’s elected leaders who have provided the necessary support and advocacy for these critical construction projects.”
“The FY2023 Capital Budget makes a historic investment in school construction by directing over $105 million to the Howard County Public School System. This funding guarantees our continued progress on Hammond High School, High School 13, and School Systemic Renovations,” said County Council Vice Chair Christiana Rigby. “I am deeply appreciative of County Executive Ball’s leadership in fully-funding the Board of Education’s Capital Budget and making school funding a top priority in the FY23 Budget.”
About the Howard County proposed FY23 Capital Budget: Howard County Executive Calvin Ball unveiled a $377.7 million capital projects spending plan for the coming year which invests more money in classroom construction than at any time in the past two decades, while offering the highest funding for road resurfacing in eight years, record funding for pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, and making major progress on flood control projects in Ellicott City and elsewhere.
The historic funding levels are made possible by smart fiscal decisions which have led to a continuation of Howard County’s AAA bond rating, and by prudently building reserves which allow for 12 percent of the capital program to be funded with one-time Pay As You Go funding.