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Developers Pitch New School South of Piney Orchard

The Two Rivers project calls for more than 2,000 new homes. The builders said they'll pay $38 million to accommodate new elementary school students from the project.

A team of developers on Wednesday are expected to present plans to build an elementary school to accommodate a new community near the border of Crofton and southern Odenton.

Officials from Koch Homes and Classic Community Cos. said they are prepared to spend more than $38 million for the school, which would be built in the new Two Rivers Community, just to the west of the Waugh Chapel Town Centre.

The Anne Arundel County Board of Education will review the proposal at its meeting Wednesday.

Follow Odenton-Severn Patch on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-the minute updates from the meeting.

The Two Rivers development calls for 2,060 single-family homes over 1,500 acres, with construction set to begin in 2014 and extending to 2023. The project was initially planned as a community for people aged 55 and older, but now the developers said they intend to open it to everyone. Thus, a new school is needed.

“As it turns out, given the changes in the economy, demographics and other things, it no longer made sense,” to build a 55-and-over community, said Michael Leahey, an attorney for the development group.

Leahey said the Two Rivers Project will result in a projected 373 new students to the area. However, the proposed school will be large enough to accommodate 700.

“The school system has a template for how they want to build elementary schools, and that template presumes about 700 students,” Leahey said. “We want to build what they believe fits their needs over time. We’re never planning on this community filling the school.”

Students at the new school would feed into and schools.

Plans call for the school to be 90,000 square feet with 32 classrooms, a gymnasium, cafeteria, lab space and an area for before- and after-school care. The schools will be modeled after the newer Rolling Knolls and Lothian elementary schools.

Plans also call for Evergreen Road to be extended into Piney Orchard at Strawberry Lake Way, possibly cutting through GORC Park. This extension would eliminate the need for school buses to travel onto Maryland Route 3, people with knowledge of the project said.

The developers are seeking approval from the school board of the concept plan. If the board votes in favor, there will then be discussions and a vote on a construction agreement.

The board could vote on the concept plan Wednesday, but also could decide to vote at a later date.

Some community members have voiced concerns about the project, citing concerns over a lack of public discussion in advance. They also expressed concern over plans for the extension of Evergreen Road.

Officials from Piney Orchard, just to the north of Two Rivers, have urged the board to postpone a vote.

“This proposal is extremely troublesome and controversial given the lack of transparency in its development and its inclusion, without any prior public discussion, of a proposed road extension of Evergreen Road from Route 3 to Strawberry Lake Way through GORC Park and into the heart of the Piney Orchard Community,” Piney Orchard Community Association President Jeff Andrade said in a letter to the board.

It also is unclear whether the plans have the full support of the Forks of the Patuxent Community Association, which had supported the Two Rivers plan when it was designed as a 55-and-over community.

Anne Arundel County Public Schools is not a stranger to seeing developers pay large sums of money to build schools. Earlier this year, the school board approved a plan to allow the developer of Arundel Preserve

In 2010, Koch Homes paid for an addition at Broadneck High School to allow for construction of new homes in that area.

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The Anne Arundel County Board of Education will meet Wednesday at 10 a.m. at 2644 Riva Rd., Annapolis. There will be time set aside for public comment. A full agenda of the meeting is available at aacps.org.

Ronald July 11, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Contact the 21st Delegation and hold them accountable for this massive sprawl. Ask them to attend the meetings and put a stop to the madness. They have always presented as reasonable and for us. We cann't do it alone. TIme to stand up and form a citizens coalition 'to fight back America'. Any takers?
Ronald July 11, 2012 at 12:39 AM
There are also a lot of POCA homeowners who will write letters against you. Stop speaking for us until you receive Board Approval - you are not my spokesman. I do not recognize your position on the Board and I believe that you speak only for the owners of the apartment complexes. AND IDENTIFY YOUR COMMENTS AS BEING THOSE OF YOURS OR THOSE OF THE POCA BOARD!
Ronald July 11, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Time for a citizens coalition. Any interest in doing something rather than talking?
Ronald July 11, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Instead of badmouthing Mr. Benoit (whom you allowed to be elected) why not contact his office and ask him what his position is?
Ronald July 11, 2012 at 12:42 AM
The landfill with eventually go through. Like it or not it is already a done deal.The best you can hope for is better controls, more fines and penalties and actual enforcement of current laws.
Chris W July 11, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Perhaps the last two commenters are unaware that a development was already approved. It will be developed, the only question is will it be 55+ or can they open it to everyone by building the school.
Ed Farmer July 11, 2012 at 12:58 AM
If you take the WB&A trail west until it stops at Conway road, you will see the first stage of the development. Over 100 acres of land cleared of all trees, plants, etc Everything stripped to bare ground for "development". Lots more "development" to come.
Chris W July 11, 2012 at 01:01 AM
And since you were so successful preventing the last redistricting, this one should be a piece of cake.
Dawn Olverson July 11, 2012 at 10:53 AM
That was the first thing that came to my mind...where will these children go to Middle School and High School???
Dawn Olverson July 11, 2012 at 11:14 AM
Shannon I'm with you 100%. My children were bussed to South River - a Maryland Blue RIbbon school. My son stopped playing sports and my daughter dropped out and got her GED. They were treated as "outsiders" and totally lost any sense of community that they had from playing football, lacrosse, and cheerleading for CAC. I addressed this with the school officials and they reported that they had not seen any signs of that and pretty much dismissed me. Other chioldren from Crofton felt this way as well, which is why I brought it up. These developers don't give a rats a$$ about our community. We need to stand up and stop all of the OVER development going on before it's too late for our children and grand-children.
david young July 11, 2012 at 11:24 AM
What medication are you taking, Ron? I want to make sure to avoid it since it's obviously not effective.
Brian C. July 11, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Wow it is amazing to me how many people complain about the building of new homes. For those living in PO, how do you think the people who lived in Odenton felt when all your houses were built? They felt the same way you do now. But now you have a place to call home and we have new neighbors and friends. It amazes me how those who are complaining about the new development didnt seem to care about what impact the building of their homes had on the area. If there is land, man will try to build something there. Stop the complaining and embrace the fact that you will have new neighbors and the county should have more money so that YOU can still enjoy the luxuries of living in this area.
Midge July 11, 2012 at 04:01 PM
What you think I should have known about or anticipated when I moved to Odenton 22 years ago is neither here nor there. The idea that I should have expected that the town of Odenton or Crofton or Gambrills should become the next urban center is just plain crazy. That I should not speak up when I see something wrong is also just plain crazy. When I moved here, there was a plan for the Odenton Town Center. That sign is still up at the intersection of 32 and 175. What you call NIMBY is simply saying no. Roads? Schools? Who the heck runs this ship? We have empty buldings already - look at that eyesore of an Odenton Shopping Center. We have thousands of houses/condos/townhomes already in the planning stages and already "approved." We have empty houses and townhomes already. And we need more? If you want this in your backyard, that is fine with you. But I don't want this in my back or side or front yard. I don't want this with a fox, in a box or with lox. Baltimore already has plenty of paved over wide open space for you. So go north. The rest of us will make sure with what little control we do have that this madness stops. We don't have public transportation. No real bus system. Not even sidewalks. This area is a disorganized mess. Go back to your home building industry and build somewhere else. Leave my town alone. I am not in PO. I would no more let Jeff speak for me than I would let you. It doesn't matter what you knew and when you knew it. I say no. Hell no.
Diane in Odenton July 11, 2012 at 05:13 PM
TOUCHÉ MIDGE!!! I totally agree with you.
Diane in Odenton July 11, 2012 at 05:16 PM
. . . and I love the Dr. Seuss speak!
Ronald July 11, 2012 at 08:07 PM
You go girl!
Ronald July 11, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Just some blood pressure pills. Not something you can take without a prescription - but thanks for caring. When was your last psychiatric evaluation?
Ronald July 11, 2012 at 08:11 PM
If you think it is GREED then you obviously do understand it. GREED, power and control. Developers maintain control over HOAs and have the political clout and saying they speak for all of us. Just take a look at Piney Orchard. GREED and CORRUPTION. And don't forget a one-party State.
Ronald July 11, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Let's just put the power lines underground.
Ronald July 11, 2012 at 08:16 PM
How many of these new developments are under the control of the three apartment complex owners that already control Piney Orchard? I know that the one by the Marc Train is theirs? Any others that you know of Jeff? Are you planning on helping them with those as well as POCAs?
Ronald July 11, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Hard to tell which homeowners or renters are going to simply relocate leaving the numbers the same. The fact is that no-one knows anything about anything.
david young July 11, 2012 at 09:19 PM
I get one every year thanks to the VA. Squeeky clean bill of mental health! By the way, Dr. Honeydew needs you to return his straightjacket, but Beeker says you can keep the roll of tin foil....you never know when you'll need a bigger hat. Meep meep!
Ronald July 11, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Sounds like the 6th floor of the VA for you. I'll stop in next time I'm there and put in a good word for you as well as pass on your blogs. Do you always talk in the 3rd party as if you were a cartoon character? PTSD perhaps. A real shame. As one vet to another: how about keeping the insults to yourself?
david young July 12, 2012 at 12:13 AM
You lobbed the first insult, dear sir. Look in the mirror before you judge others. Your harsh comments about numerous people are all over this website. You have no sense of honor you bitter, bitter man.
John July 12, 2012 at 12:16 AM
The real fun begins when Piney Orchard owners try to sell their old home for $300K while nice, pretty, shiny new homes are a stone's throw away. Happy selling.
Ronald July 12, 2012 at 04:39 AM
David: I'm not bitter and I don't think I'm old. I am angry that people like you take advantage blogs to attack messengers rather than the messages. Thank you for your service but get help. They have walk-ins on the 6th floor a couple of times a week. And show them your blogs - I'm sure they'll find a place for you. What is it about POCA that you support?
Ronald July 12, 2012 at 04:41 AM
You have hit the nail on the head again. Home values will go down and we will all fast become a rental community. I'm thinking about turning my home into a sober-house for recovering alcoholics.
John July 12, 2012 at 01:04 PM
It's not that home values in P.O. would go down - just that a flood of new homes in the area would make it extremely difficult to sell here. That said, P.O. does have some fantastic amenities that the new community might not have.
tr February 07, 2013 at 07:49 PM
These three issues are not mutually exclusive. The school appears to be peace offering for further development approval. The road is a red herring. Anyone have a good update on where this project is.
tr February 07, 2013 at 08:09 PM
What is the current status? Can anyone update?

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