Mount Rainier officials say they would like for the city to acquire the closed Mount Rainier Junior High School from Prince George's County, but may not be able to afford the related expenses.
Under Prince George's County law, the municipality has first choice in taking possession of the school, which was closed in June 1981 because of declining enrollments. The building would be used to house city offices including the police department and for recreational activities.
Although the city would not have to pay for the school, it would have to pay utilities, for renovations to bring the school up to the building code and other operational expenses, according to Mayor Linda Nalls.
"We would like to take the building over, but I need to get some commitments from persons and groups to help with the costs," Nalls said. "Otherwise the city will not be able to afford the school."
Nalls said the city is talking to the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, among others, to see if it will help defray the expenses.
The city must decide by Nov. 14 whether it will take over the building. After that date the county may dispose of it elsewhere, Nalls said.