Bowie's temporary classrooms still present
Aug. 18, 2005
Deitrich Curry
Staff Writer

Residents driving past Benjamin Tasker Middle School and Bowie High School will notice that the signs of overcrowding at the schools are still evident.

Temporary classrooms still sit in the parking lot of the two schools.

"I'm looking for the day that we won't have temporaries," said Karen Coley, principal of Benjamin Tasker. "But right now we still need them."

Bowie High School ninth graders will be moving to the Belair Annex to relieve overcrowding at the high school, and Samuel Ogle Elementary will be converted into a middle school to relieve overcrowding at Benjamin Tasker.

But principals of Bowie High and Benjamin Tasker said that the temporary classrooms would still be needed to relieve the overcrowding.

At Bowie High School, only four of the 16 temporary classrooms will be removed.

The four that were on the tennis court have been removed, said John Birckhead, principal of Bowie High.

At Benjamin Tasker, ten of the 17 temporary classroom will leave, while seven of the classrooms will stay.

"It takes time," Coley said. "They won't all disappear at once."

The seven temporary classrooms will be used for arts classes such as health, Spanish and orchestra, Coley said.

With some of the middle school students heading to Samuel Ogle, Benjamin Tasker is now at 120 percent capacity compared to its 147 percent during the last school year, she said.

Bowie High School is expected to have 2,816 students enrolled, with an estimated 800 freshmen of that total accommodated at the Belair Annex, said county schools spokesman John White.

The 2,016 students located at the Bowie High building will bring the school closer to its state-rated capacity of 1,913 students, White said.

But Coley said that population growth in the city would prevent the temporary classrooms from going away anytime soon.

"Everywhere there is construction sites for new housing," Coley said.


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