Demolition begins at Dundalk High School building
Wednesday, 31 July 2013 12:06

 

Demolition has began on the auditorium, but the county school system says the Dundalk High building won’t be completely dismantled until after the school year starts. photo by Roland Dorsey

Teardown is expected to last until November

by Ben Boehl

    Since the last day of school, many alumni of Dundalk High School have been bracing for the bittersweet day when their old high school building is destroyed.
    They have been waiting all summer, and the demolition finally began last week.
    Workers started knocking down the auditorium on July 25, but school officials said the rest of the building will not be gone before the start of the 2013-14 school year.
    The original plan was to have all of the old building knocked down and its remains removed before the start of the school year and the opening of the new Dundalk High School building so a new parking lot could be built on the old school grounds.
    Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) spokesman Charles Herndon said the whole building will not be destroyed until a few months into the school year.
    “It’s not going to be demolished before the start of the school year,” Herndon said.
    Herndon noted the size of the building and said there was concern about the possibility of asbestos being in the air when the school year started.
    He said the county wants to take time to properly remove any hazardous materials before pushing forward with the full demolition.
    “Right now, we are looking at it taking about four months, which should be around November,” Herndon explained.
    “BGE has to ... deal with the electrical issues, and we have to take care of any hazardous materials,” he added.
    According to Herndon, there was a similar situation in Towson, where a new building was constructed for George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology.
    The old building at that site was scheduled to be torn down before the new school building opened in August 2012.
    The grounds of the old Carver building were supposed to be used for athletic fields, but that facility remained in use as a temporary home for a local elementary school awaiting the completion of its own new building.
    Just as that delay kept Carver from immediately having its athletic fields, the delay in Dundalk will delay the construction of a parking lot for the school, but Herndon said he believes there will be enough parking to serve the new Dundalk school.
    “They do have a lot of parking in the back of the new building, and there is some parking on the east side of the building, too,” Herndon said.
    Dundalk High School principal Tom Shouldice agreed that parking will not be an issue when the school opens on Aug. 22.
    “There will be enough parking for staff and visitors at the start of school,” Shouldice added.