Map reflecting BCPS' 10-year plan for JEH and surrounding schools
Last winter, 3,000 Baltimore City parents, students, teachers, and neighbors stood together in Annapolis demanding better school buildings for our children. John Eager Howard, working with Child First Authority and RHIC, brought 80 people--the third highest turnout from across the city--for the February Rally.
Baltimore City Public School buildings were facing a $2.4 billion deficit, with 85% of public schools in poor condition-- John Eager Howard alone was assessed at needing $14-16 million in renovation and repair costs. In April, the Baltimore Education Coalition and Transform Baltimore's hard work paid off when the state approved the $1 billion school construction bill. The Baltimore Education Coalition is a city-wide grassroots partnership of over 25 organizations, including RHIC, Child First Authority, ACLU, united by a mission and vision for public education in Baltimore City. Over the past three years, these groups have prioritized city school construction funding and worked to bring a plan to fruition for Baltimore City.
This school construction bill will fund the first 5 years of BCPS' 10 year plan to fully renovate and rebuild all Baltimore City schools. Within BCPS 10 year plan, JEH is set for a "Year 1 Renovation with Possible Addition or Replace". More information about the recommendation, as well as the initial study of the buildings' current state can be found here (scroll down the alphabetized list of city schools until you reach "John Eager Howard Elementary School").
What has happened since the legislature approved our bill?
Over the course of Spring and Summer 2013, BCPS has worked to determine the "educational specifications", the basic requirements all renovated and newly constructed school buildings should have to support 21st-century education. At various points throughout this process students, teachers, parents, and neighbors from John Eager Howard gave feedback on the specifications.
What comes next for John Eager Howard?
John Eager Howard is working closely with the entire school community, it's partners and BCPS in order to ensure an inclusive design process that genuinely reflects the community's values.
Though the below timeline is likely to shift at points due to the complexity of this process, this is the general schedule BCPS has set for Year 1 schools:
This fall, a team from the school community will be working closely with architects, and gathering further feedback from the broader community, in order to determine the school level educational specifications for JEH. We are committed to modeling a community engagement process, which can be utilized in other neighborhoods and schools, and ensures broad and deep engagement of the broader school community. Additionally, the architects will be conducting a feasibility study, which will re-evaluate and narrow the $14-16 million need estimated in the Jacobs Report. This feasibility study will determine whether JEH receives a renovation or a complete rebuild.
From Jan 2014 - Dec 2014, the school will follow the work this fall by a year of an intensive design lead by parents, teachers, neighbors, and students with broad based and deep participation from the school community.
April 2015, we hope to see shovels in the ground on a 21st-century John Eager Howard building!
If you have any questions, please contact Erin Bowman: firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-225-7547