Schools Loan: $34,000,000 (over 2 years)
The Schools Loan would provide up to $34 million over two years to improve City school facilities. The funds would allow the City school system to complete systemic upgrades to existing schools, along with complete replacements for three existing schools. The loan complements the major capital program currently underway, the 21st Century Schools initiative. While the 21st Century Schools initiative will allow the City to conduct major renovations or replacements for many of its schools, the regular capital improvement program, which includes the Schools Loan, allows for large-scale maintenance and upgrades necessary to keep schools functioning. Upgrades might include new windows and doors, and other improvements to the building envelope, HVAC, mechanical systems, fire systems, and roofs. The loan would also allow the City to finish total school renovations happening outside of the 21st Century School process, including Armistead Gardens Elementary, Holabird Elementary, and Graceland Park – O’Donnell Heights Elementary/Middle Schools.
Project Highlight: Graceland Park – O’Donnell Heights Elementary/Middle School
A new Graceland Park-O’Donnell Elementary/Middle School has been planned for several years, using funding sources outside of the 21st Century Schools Initiative. The school is currently serving more students than it was designed to serve, and its enrollment is expected to continue to grow as the area experiences redevelopment and a surge of population growth from the immigrant community. The school replacement project was allocated $4.5 million from the 2014 Schools Loan. This and other capital funding from Baltimore City will assist City Schools to ultimately leverage an estimated $21 million from the Maryland Public School Construction Program to complete the project. The building replacement will provide a state-of-the-art, 21st-century educational environment for the students, and is planned to be the City’s first Net Zero Energy School – meaning that the school will generate more energy over the course of the year than it uses. Not only does this provide an excellent learning experience for students and contribute to the City’s Sustainability Plan, it will reduce operational costs and make the school healthier for students and teachers.