County Executive Jan Gardner today announced a shared solution that will allow the county to keep on schedule the construction of Sugarloaf Elementary and Butterfly Ridge Elementary and to complete Frederick High School. In order to provide students with adequate schools, Executive Gardner outlined a variety of steps taken in the past month to find funding solutions: advocacy of state funding, cost reduction for schools, increase in development fees, adjustments to county CIP projects and acceleration of the state share of school payments by developers.
A part of the community solution was announced in which two developers agreed to partner with the county to accelerate the state’s funding share to build the three much-needed schools. Tom Natelli of Natelli Communities and Jason Wiley of Elm Street Development offered to accelerate $27 million of the state share of funds for the three school projects. A similar approach was used to fund Centerville Elementary School in 2005.
“My goal is to build consensus around issues and bring stakeholders together to find shared solutions,” said County Executive Gardner. “One of the county’s most daunting challenges involves school construction and creating much needed elementary school capacity. I appreciate the commitment of the County Council and our community partners to find viable solutions.”