Howard County has announced the acquisition of land for the future elementary school site in the Turf Valley development. This acquisition creates sorely needed school capacity in the county’s Northern Region for elementary schools, where all six elementary schools have been above 100 percent of capacity utilization for six of the past eight years.

With this purchase, the county will invest $5.75 million to secure 10 acres of land for the construction of the county’s 44th elementary school. In May, the Howard County Council approved County Executive Calvin Ball’s budget proposal to allocate the final $2 million needed to acquire the property.

Photo courtesy Howard County Government.

All our students and educators deserve the best teaching and learning environment to thrive, which is why school construction has been one of my top priorities. The need for an elementary school in Turf Valley was identified in 2015, and the intent to purchase this land was announced in 2017. After years of delays, we will finally acquire this property and build on our substantial investment in critical school construction projects,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball.

In 2016, the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) requested that the county assess the viability of purchasing property; the county announced its intent to purchase this property in 2017. Since taking office, Ball has secured $4 million of the $5.75 million needed to acquire the property, and negotiated agreements to take ownership of the land, culminating with closing on the parcel.

To address overcrowding and to ensure that Howard County’s children are learning in state-of-the-art learning centers, Ball’s administration has provided more than $58 million per year to support school capital projects, allowing the top three priority projects of the Howard County Public School System – New High School #13, Talbott Springs Elementary School and Hammond High School to begin construction. This level of funding for school construction represents an average annual increase of nearly 25 percent over the previous four years.