For Immediate Release
October 16, 2013
Contact: Jan Hardesty
Public Information Officer
Maryland Stadium Authority (410) 333-1560
The Maryland Board of Public Works unanimously approved a Memorandum of Understanding between four public agencies charged with a multi-year, billion-dollar program to rebuild and revitalize Baltimore City Public Schools.
The MOU, which was a condition of the Baltimore City Public Schools Construction and Revitalization Act of 2013, formalizes the roles and responsibilities of Baltimore City government, Baltimore City Schools, the Interagency Committee on School Construction, and the Maryland Stadium Authority.
Among the key provisions of the MOU are annual contributions of $20 million each from the City, Schools, and State. The Stadium Authority will leverage this $60 million in bond sales of up to $1.1 billion.
This revenue will finance replacements and renovations to between 30-35 aging structures, depending on various assumptions. The Stadium Authority will manage new construction while City Schools will oversee renovations.
Other important factors in the MOU, which may be viewed on the MSA website at: http://www.mdstad.com/current-projects/baltimore-city-public-schools-construction, includes recreational and cooperative community use of school space, future maintenance of the buildings and minority business participation and local hiring goals.
“A key focus of my Administration is building stronger neighborhoods and continuing to grow the city of Baltimore,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said of the milestone. “That goal cannot be achieved without strong schools that are equipped to meet the needs of our children and help prepare them for the workforce.”
“Today’s action shows we are serious about maintaining our commitment to our children and will work in partnership to help make Baltimore a stronger city” the Mayor added.
Acting COE of City Schools, Tisha Edwards, gave her thoughts.
“This long-term body of work has the potential to transform the educational experience of our students—not to mention entire communities. It is hugely ambitious, but we know from our work so far that huge ambition yields huge results when you have the expertise and commitment of multiple parties coming together on behalf of kids.”
“This kind of partnership across city and state agencies is—and must be—a model for continuing to support our students and position them for success in school and in life,” Ms. Edwards said.
Many aspects of the program are already in progress. By December, the partners will have completed feasibility studies, proposed a comprehensive maintenance plan, and established school utilization rates. In early 2014, selection of architects, engineers, and construction managers will begin.
Construction is expected to start in late 2015, with the first projects completed by summer 2017. The entire program is expected to be finished by 2020.
“In these past months, as we’ve worked together to forge this agreement, the four entities have developed a partnership based on trust and mutual respect,” noted Michael Frenz, Executive Director of the Maryland Stadium Authority. “We believe this will carry over into the actual building program and make it an unalloyed success.”
“We also believe that the agreement will allow Maryland Stadium Authority to do what we do best,” Frenz concluded. “Bring in construction projects on time and on budget.”