Adjusting to new reality: renovation debate 2.0

Meera Rothman, Editor in Chief

The school board’s rejection of the bid for a $40-million renovation of the school came as a surprise to principal Sam Wynkoop.
“I knew there was support there,” Wynkoop said. “I knew what people were asking for, but I had visions of coming in the next day and finalizing plans for renovations.”
He wasn’t alone.
“The decision was a welcome shock,” active Friends of Dulaney member Jennifer Tarr said after more than a year of lobbying against renovation and in favor of rebuilding the school.
“It clearly shows that they are in agreement with our rally to stop these costly, weak Band-Aids. The community is elated.”
What’s next? A letter from school superintendent Dallas Dance to Wynkoop states that a third party will assess the condition of this as well as other high schools plus middle schools around the county next school year.
This means the June start date for construction workers is axed, Wynkoop said.
“As of that board meeting, Dulaney will be starting with zero renovations as they were planned,” Wynkoop said.
But there is no guarantee of a new school. The Baltimore Sun quoted a spokesman for county executive Kevin Kamenetz after the March 7 board vote. She said the county can’t afford a $135-million replacement for Dulaney.
Meanwhile, Friends of Dulaney asked Facebook followers to keep watching for their next phase of effort. And students and teachers here continue to question the state of the school’s facilities, deemed one of the county’s worst by a 2014 audit, according to the Sun.
From her new wing classroom, Teachers union rep and Spanish teacher Maureen Burke said the answer to complaints about no air conditioning, brown water and the like appears to be a new school.
“I’m not an engineer,” Burke said. “That being said, look at the cracks on the side of my wall. You touch my heating unit and it’s blowing cold air.”
“I support the community saying they want a new building because that’s how I feel,” she said. “My concern is – now what’s going to happen?”