Budget approval breeds skepticism

Dylan McCabe, Associate Editor

The urgent need for updated school infrastructure was addressed on Aug. 6, 2019, where board members proposed a new plan of action known as the state capital budget request. High schools including Lansdowne, Towson and Dulaney are gaining increased attention from the school system staff towards the growing problems of the operation of the facilities at each school. For this reason, the state capitol budget request was a $216 million, leaving some optimistic, and some skeptical of the proposal.
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski vehemently stands by his proposed 10-year plan for these structural changes, as with the incoming 1700 students, it is more important than ever to allocate the necessary resources to provide an effective learning environment.
These budget requests for Dulaney, Lansdowne and Towson are amongst the most pressing matters Olszewski wishes to attend to. Olszewski is in fact acting on his word by way of funding for a design of the new Lansdowne facility, and by remaining optimistic on the time frame for a new Dulaney building.
Dulaney’s building, constructed in the early 1960’s, is without air-conditioning, its pipes contaminating the drinking water with lead. Although the building received an addition in 1999, most students are taught in the old facility at some point of the day and are exposed to the schools deteriorating conditions.
Unlike Olszewski, Dulaney Guidance Counselor John Komosa has doubts about the likelihood of Dulaney receiving a new building soon.
“You know it’s an idea that’s been bounced around throughout the years. Honestly, I don’t think I’ll believe it until the shovels start digging. It would probably be a year before we even get a definitive answer,” Komosa said.
“In my opinion, Lansdowne would definitely take priority, their building is completely falling apart, it really is in bad shape.” Komosa said.
President of the Baltimore County Student Council Leadership board, Angela Qian references several other pressing matters across the county that may take precedence over the repair or reconstruction of Dulaney.
“Speaking from the perspective of the Baltimore County student council, the Board of Education has a lot on their hands at the board meetings, the renovations of Dulaney, Lansdowne and Towson are some of the many,” Qian said. “But from the perspective of a student at Dulaney High School, obviously your hope runs out a little bit because you think it’s always going to stay this way and change is not likely.”
Media Specialist Angela Sofinowski argues that the school’s physical condition has had a large impact, but teachers and students have been able to persevere through these measures and ultimately create a successful environment for education.
“Do we need a new building? Yes. The physical condition of the school has definitely played a large impact on the students, even kids without any medical conditions like asthma or other medical conditions may still get distracted or light headed in such heat,” Sofinowski said. “But really, when you look at our incredible SAT’s, GPA’s, AP scores, the students themselves are definitely pushing through this obstacle.”
However, Dulaney’s much anticipated new building may be seen in the foreseeable future, with the support of community activity and advocates for a new school.
“The strength that Dulaney has is that we have a really active group of advocates for the school. Parents would go to board meetings and advocate for a new building. We as a school and community should never lose hope, I sure would like to see it happen,” Qian said.

Associate editor Geoffrey Dochat contributed to this report