The following item was discussed by the Howard County Board of Education at its Sept. 27 meeting. For more information, call 992-0500.

CAPITAL BUDGET -- School Superintendent Michael Hickey unveiled a proposed $34 million fiscal 1992 capital budget that includes construction or design funding for nine new schools -- including a new high school in the western part of the county -- to accommodate the county's growing student population.

Under its long-range five-year construction program, the school system expects to spend an additional $210.9 million to complete the nine schools and to build an additional high school and two additional elementary schools in the county.

In this current fiscal year the school system is fudning completion of two new schools, Pointer's Run Elementary School near Clarksville and Mayfield Woods Middle School in Elkridge. Both are scheduled to open next fall.

In addition to design funds for the new high school, the proposed fiscal 1992 capital budget includes includes funding for the construction of three and the design of two new elementary schools and the design of three new middle schools around the county. All nine schools are scheduled to open by September 1995.

Two schools in the planning stages account for more than half of the money Hickey has requested for fiscal 1992, a new western county middle school near Clarksville to cost $11 million and a new elementary school in the northeast part of the county to cost $7.4 million. Both projects are scheduled to be completed by 1993.

Construction is scheduled to begin on three of the nine schools within the next six months and be completed by 1992: Burleigh Manor Middle School in Ellicott City in November, the new Elkridge Elementary School in the southern part of the county in January and Southeastern Elementary School next spring.

Initial planning and design work for the planned new high school near Clarksville would cost $2.3 million under the proposed budget. The $34.8 million high school is scheduled to be completed in 1995.

In addition, Hickey's budget includes $490,000 to purchase six relocatable classrooms for county elementary schools and $335,000 to begin design and construction of a planned $5.3 million environmental science center in the Patuxent Valley area.

Hickey said his requests are based on projections that student enrollment will climb steadily during the next five years. The schools' projected enrollment of 30,234 this September is expected to climb past 37,000 in 1995. Surging elementary school enrollment will account for about half of that gain, school projections show.

The board is scheduled to vote on Hickey's budget Oct. 11, after an Oct. 9 public hearing. The board is scheduled to submit a final budget request to the County Council in March.