Red Pump Elementary school construction postponed in favor of opening Campus Hills school first


    I first saw this on The Dagger blog and then this morning in The Baltimore Sun: The Harford County school board has voted to postpone building the Red Pump Elementary School and instead go to work on Campus Hills Elementary on the other side of town. This bit of news should make Wednesday and Thursday night’s elementary redistricting meetings more interesting.

    The Red Pump Elementary School was to be built first off of Vale Road on the west side of Bel Air. It was scheduled to open for the 2010-11 school year. Several months ago, the district purchased land close to Red Pump Road to create an entrance on that thoroughfare rather than be forced to create an awkward traffic circle off of the curving Vale Road. But now it looks like the board has decided that its more cost effective to go with the Campus Hills school first. (Both schools are estimated to cost $33 million) District Superintendent Jacqueline Haas was quoted in the Sun as saying the district has been losing students.

    Now it’s the Campus Hills school that will be slated to open in 2011.

    It will be interesting to see how this shakes out in the redistricting plans. I was expecting my Forest Lakes kindergartner would be redistricted to the Red Pump School, which is much nearer to my house, as she entered 2nd grade. I was a bit disappointed to have to move her. Maybe now I won’t have to. My son is finishing up a good 5th year at Forest Lakes where they have a great instrumental music program his sister was looking forward to joining. Now maybe she can. However, Forest Lakes is crowded. It’s 121% overcapacity (down just a bit from a couple of years ago). My son spent his third grade in a trailer and it wasn’t his best year. I would like to avoid that — particularly with that new Kohl’s construction planned for the parcel next to Forest Lakes. I think the construction noise could be a distraction for students in the trailers.

    It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out. The Aegis reported last Wednesday there was some push back from residents in the Campus Hills area who had traffic concerns. That article said plans for the school and sports complex are to be reviewed at the county’s Jan. 7 Development Advisory Committee meeting.