Montgomery School Supt. Charles M. Bernardo told the school board this week that he would ask the state for $5,729,000 to pay for improvements to 11 schools. Six of them are elementary facilities.
Bernardo's list of priorities for school construction and renovation quickly ran into criticism from board members. "How do you decide between building a physical education facility and an auditorium?" board member Verna Fletcher commented later.
"Woodward was on the list for an auditorium last year, and now that it's been put on a list to be considered for school closings, it's been taken off the school construction list," Fletcher said. "The staff has acted on something we haven't agreed upon.
"Currently," Bernardo told the board, in a memo, that "only 46 elementary schools out of 130 schools either have a gymnasium or construction funding for one."
Montgomery County Executive James Gleason, the county council and the school board are scheduled to discuss the request for construction funds at a meeting Oct. 17. Board members, who said they were worried about appearances of unity, agreed to review the items on the list at a meeting Oct. 24.
"We can't go to the state and say here's the superintendent's list of schools for construction funds and here's the board's list," board member Marian Greenblatt said. "We're not two agencies, we're one."
Preliminary requests for fiscal 1979 construction funds are due to the state by November 1. A public hearing is scheduled for Dec. 1.
Bernardo requested funds for new furnishings and equipment for Germantown Elementary, Seneca Valley High and Takoma park Elementary. Stephen Knolls, the special education school, would be modernized and Whitman High would receive funds for construction of an auditorium.
The six schools that Bernardo slated for physical education systems are Wyngate Elementary, Ritchie Park Elementary, Oakland Terrace Elementary, Jackson Road Elementary, Olney Elementary and Rocking HOrse Road Elementary.
The board is discussed the method for selecting the non-voting student member of the board, a position added by recent state legislation.
Dan Tobin, president of the Montgomery County Region of the Maryland Student Government Association, said the MCR wanted each public school to elect delegates to a convention at which the student member would be elected.
Some board members said they would prefer a direct election, possibly without seniors voting, since present seniors would have graduated by July 1, 1978 when the new member joins the board.
The board said they would discuss the issue at a future meeting.