High Point High School in Beltsville, Md., is a step closer to getting a new building.
The Prince George’s County Board of Education has agreed to accept a feasibility study that provides the district guidance on “how to implement a future modernization at High Point High School.”
District staff have recommended that Prince George’s replace the entire school, except the auditorium, and Schools Chief Kevin M. Maxwell suggested that the board accept its recommendation.
Community members earlier this month told the board that there had been little to no structural improvements made to the school since 1954.
The school has had some “major and minor” additions since then — the last one was 37 years ago. Since then, new wiring and plumbing fixtures have been added, but no structural improvements have been made.
Prince George’s County Council member Mary A. Lehman (D-Laurel) said the school has a faulty heating system, leaky ceilings and additions that have proven to be problematic.
“I’m not advocating that every 60-year-old building needs to be rebuilt,” she said. But, she said, High Point is unique because its additions have made it difficult for administrators to manage.
There are 80 doors, which makes it difficult keep students in and trespassers out, Lehman said.
Karen Coakley, a community activist who chaired the feasibility study, said the plan is a “proposal that the children and the teachers of High Point deserve. . . . You can’t operate 21st-century work in a building that is 60 years old.”
The feasibility study will now be forwarded to the Maryland Interagency Committee on School Construction for review and approval of the plan.