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School Reorganization Could Lead to New Police Precinct

The plan involving Eastwood and Norwood Elementary Schools and Holabird Middle School appears tied to possible sale of government land for redevelopment.

UPDATED (1:29 a.m.)—Parents at two Dundalk Elementary Schools learned Monday night of a plan that will close one school and possibly lead to the building of a new police station.

The plan involving Eastwood and Norwood Elementary and Holabird Middle schools appears tied to an expected proposal from County Executive Kevin Kamenetz to sell county property for redevelopment.

Kevin Hobbs, Baltimore County Public Schools deputy superintendent, told about 150 people gathered Monday night in the cafeteria of Holabird Middle that Eastwood Elementary would be closed at the end of the current school year.

Hobbs said the Eastwood building will become "the property of the county." He declined to elaborate on what the potential uses might be.

Multiple sources speaking to Patch on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the details confirmed that one possible use for the site could involve building a new police precinct. The county appears to be ready to solicit bids to sell the current site at the North Point Government Center.

Hobbs and other school officials spoke of two options to merge the three schools during a meeting at Holabird Middle School Monday night.

One proposal includes moving kindergarten through third grade students at the two elementary schools to Norwood Elementary.

Students in grades 4 and 5 at both elementary schools would be moved to Holabird Middle School.

A second plan calls for pre-K through grade five program at Norwood with a STEM focus, and create a first of its kind in Baltimore County kindergarten through eighth grade STEM magnet program at Holabird.

The current Eastwood Elementary School site would then become a possible location for a new police precinct in the area. It is not clear what would happen to the magnet program at Eastwood Elementary.

The current precinct is part of the North Point Government Center.

That site is said to be one of three properties owned by the county that are being considered for possible sale to developers.

John Vontran, political supporter of Kamenetz and Councilman John Olszewski Sr., was interested in a land swap that would have allowed him to build big box retailers on the North Point Government Center site while moving county offices to the site of the former Seagram's Distillery.

Del. Mike Weir Jr. said Monday evening that he understood Eastwood Elementary could be one possible site of a new police precinct. He said Eastwood had seen some reduced enrollment that might make it ripe for reorganization.

Parents attending the meeting at Holabird Middle School Monday night expressed dismay over the proposals.

Last week, Patch reported that Kamenetz planned to sell the site of the Towson Fire Station and build a new station on what is now the site of Towson Manor Park in Towson.

A third site in the northwest is also said to be part of that redevelopment list and could include either the former site of a vehicle maintenance shop or the Woodlawn police substation. Both locations are on Liberty Road.

Don Mohler, a spokesman for County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, did not respond to a request for comment Monday night.

In an interview last week, Mohler would neither confirm nor deny the plans last week.

"The county executive has been pretty open about the fact that he's tasked his staff to find parcels of county-owned properties that are on valuable pieces of land in commercial corridors and see if there might be a better use for them," Mohler said at the time, adding that part of the plan could include getting those county-owned properties on the tax rolls.

In a story published early Tuesday morning, Kamenetz confirmed to the Baltimore Sun the plan to seek buyers for the properties.

Read More:

  • Parents Upset With Proposed 'Merger' of Three Schools
  • Hobbs: Dundalk School Reorganization Not Indicative of Countywide Trend

Nayana Davis contributed to this report.

Bejacker December 11, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Is this the same Jon Vontran that filed personal bankruptcy Chapter 7, Dec, 2010? If yes, is he going to do the ethical and moral thing of paying back all creditors, both personal and business debts owed if in fact he filed per personal bankruptcy?
Raymond Saunders December 11, 2012 at 07:30 PM
And will Executive Kamenetz do the ethical and moral thing and return the $4000 in campaign contributions received from the Vontran family in 2010 and 2011? Or the $2000 contributed by Yorkway Capital in 2010? Just to avoid any appearance of impropriety, you know? This follow the money stuff is pretty fun! https://campaignfinancemd.us/Public/ViewReceipts?theme=vista Receiving Committee = Kamenetz and voila!
Cheryl Leach-Harazin December 11, 2012 at 09:26 PM
How coincidental I love Towson too. Maybe Mr. Kamenentz's children love spending there Birthday with there father, mother & siblings. So are his children suppose to miss out on there special days because there father chose a public service career? I certainly don't agree with all of his politics, nor his political decisions, but I do agree that he should be "stuffing his face with cake & taking picture's of his precious family (as ur family is precious to you, do u think his are any less precious to him & his wife???). His children should be proud that despite his high profile career he was there for them when it counted. I'll bet that if you knew that he wasn't there for his son's birthday u would publiclically crucify him for that as well. I hope that ur embitteredness will lessen through the holidays, as this is a special time for what our families are about. Just remember these words,& let them resonate this Holiday & see if ur heart will grow 3 size's this Holiday of Love. "Your a MEAN ONE, Ms. Towson.. You really are a HEEL. Your as cuddly as a cactus, & as CHARMING AS AN EEL, Your a bad banana with a greasy black peel." A truism by Theodore Geisel.
Raymond Saunders December 11, 2012 at 09:46 PM
I hope Mr. Kamenetz enjoys many more birthday dinners with his family, and I hope my kids and my neighbors' kids enjoy the park for years to come, and I hope the Eastwood families enjoy a safe, quality education in their neighborhood school. Let's not take anything away from anyone.
Tom December 11, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Go to Facebook and like the Support Eastwood Elementary Magnet school page. Post and let your voice be heard!!!!

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