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Board Approves Measures for School Expansion

Meade High School will get a new addition, and the new Imagine Village Academy school took one step closer to reality.

The approved a trio of measures Wednesday night that will pave the way for increased school capacity in west county.

The board unanimously approved a contract for a development group to pay $4.5 million for 12 classrooms at Meade High School, to accommodate students from the planned Arundel Gateway project to the south of Maryland Route 198 in Laurel.

In addition, the board voted in favor of design plans for the Imagine Global Village Academy Public Contract School, which would take in students from the crowded Maryland City, Jessup and Brock Bridge elementary schools.

The Imagine School, which would accommodate students from kindergarten to eighth grade, will be constructed by the Polm Companies, which is developing 1,000 homes in the RiverWood community in Laurel.

The Arundel Gateway project includes plans for 1,600 homes and developers said they will pay for the addition at Meade High in order to satisfy county requirements for school capacity. Meade High is currently operating at capacity.

Arundel Gateway is still awaiting county zoning approvals. It will be developed by Ribera Development and Greenberg Gibbons.

The RiverWood and Arundel Gateway projects are being built by separate developers, but are linked by the school capacity issues in west county.

As a backup, the school board Wednesday also approved a contract for the developers of Arundel Gateway to build an addition at Maryland City Elementary if the Imagine School was not built. 

None of the proposed additions would result in new costs for the school system.

Anne Arundel County Schools Chief Operating Officer Alex Szachnowicz said the contract for Meade High is very similar to a deal made with Koch Homes for an addition at two years ago.

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