Board of Ed Moves Forward with Facilities Study

The Carroll County Board of Education plans to hire a consultant to complete parts of the study.

The Carroll County Board of Education decided to move forward with a comprehensive facilities study, a project that was put on hold earlier this month when Superintendent Steve Guthrie said his staff was not qualified to conduct parts of the study.

During the county budget cycle last spring, the Carroll County Board of Commissioners requested that the school system conduct a comprehensive facilities study to "assess the need for and proper utilization of the school facilities across the county over the next 10 years."

More recently, that conversation focused on closing schools with County Commissioner Richard Rothschild suggesting that would be necessary to cut costs.

At a board of education meeting earlier this month, Guthrie was expected to announce a series of cost-savings options, including facility closures based on the comprehensive facilities study. Instead, Guthrie announced that he was uncomfortable completing the facilities study in-house.

The study was put on hold and the board of education agreed that it would meet with county commissioners to get some direction and establish priorities. 

At last week's board of education meeting, school board member Barbara Shreeve said the board should conduct the study and make decisions rather than rely on the county commissioners. She argued that the commissioners are responsible for funding education, not making decisions concerning how to run the school system. 

"I just feel like if we go to them and ask them what we want them to do and where they want to go with the study, we are asking them to overstep their bounds," Shreeve said. "I feel really funny going across the street and asking them what they want us to do." 

Board of education members agreed that they would request to still meet with the commisioners at a previously scheduled Dec. 12 meeting and update the commissioners on their decision to move forward with the facilities study. 

Guthrie said he is not sure how much it will cost to hire an outside consultant to conduct parts of the facilities study, but he said it "will not be inexpensive." Guthrie said that he expects the school system to pay the cost of the study.



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