Baltimore City Schools’ Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on October 10, 2023, to enter a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Baltimore City to construct a new school building and athletic field for City Springs Elementary / Middle School.
The next approval needed is from the Board of Estimates, which is scheduled to vote on November 1st. If approved, design begins in January 2024 for the estimated $69 million construction project, with construction slated for 2025 through 2027. The plan is to open the new facility in August 2027 to start the 2027-2028 academic year. City Schools will fund $42 million of the project, and $20 million will come from Baltimore City and $5 million from the Maryland Stadium Authority. It has been a true collaboration of many to make this happen.
“We’re very excited for a new home for City Springs,” says Laura Doherty, BCP President and CEO. “Principal Dr. Rhonda Richetta and her incredible team have created a student-focused, success-oriented culture at City Springs. Soon, the physical school building will match the vibrancy that is the City Springs’ spirit.”
The current school building is 60 years old, without air conditioning and in need of deferred maintenance. It’s also too small and antiquated for the vibrant program Principal Dr. Rhonda Richetta and her team of educators have created at the neighborhood conversion charter school.
The school has long served the Perkins Homes public housing community in central Baltimore. However, Perkins Homes is going through a major overhaul as part of the Housing Authority of Baltimore’s $1 billion Perkins Somerset Oldtown Transformation Plan,” as noted in a recent Baltimore Sun article about the MOU.
Read the details of the project in the Baltimore Sun. As part of this redevelopment, Perkins Homes residents have been relocated. This has caused City Springs enrollment to drop and forced many students to commute to the school.
The new school construction and the estimated new 1,880 mixed-income housing units – the Perkins Homes had 629 units – should address enrollment challenges and, once again, cement City Springs as the walkable neighborhood school for children Pre-K through 8th grade and a robust anchor for the community.
City Springs has been part of the Baltimore Curriculum Project’s (BCP) network of charter schools since 2005. In 2007, City Springs pioneered Restorative Practice for BCP. Today it is used in many Baltimore City and County public schools, and the City Springs leadership has spoken about it at national conferences and in the media.
Recently, Ego Nwodim, actor, writer, producer, SNL cast member, and Baltimore native, launched an improv program at City Springs with her brother, Dr. Emeka Nwodim, as part of the school’s commitment to providing students with life skills in listening and problem-solving.
Check out the recent BCP Spotlight on City Springs.