Prince George’s students, parents plead for improvements to school facilities

At Potomac High School, students said the track hasn’t been resurfaced in decades, and parents are worried about sitting on wooden bleachers.

At Forest Heights Elementary School, a parent complained about alleged asbestos and roaches crawling around the 61-year-old building.

And at High Point High School, community members said little to no structural improvements have been made to the building since 1954.

Parent after parent made those charges during a recent Prince George’s County Board of Education meeting, arguing that it is time for improvements to be made to their schools.

“The football field is deplorable, atrocious and maybe even dangerous to play on,” said one Potomac High student during the public remarks portion of the board meeting. “Why are we so far down the list to get the improvements we need?”

As is the custom with public comment sessions, school system officials did not respond or ask questions of the participants.

Earlier this year, the school system held meetings across the county to discuss the district’s aging schools. According to the fiscal 2015 capital program, the school system requested $330.3 million in county and state funds to build, renovate and repair schools.

Nearly $51 million would be spent on renovations and about $70 million on other projects, including replacing roofs, sprinkler systems, pipes and ventilation systems at some schools.

Ovetta Wiggins covers Maryland state politics in Annapolis.



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