DUNDALK — Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot visited Dundalk last week, and was given a guided tour of the new Dundalk Elementary School.
Accompanied by two state delegates, two representatives of the Baltimore County School Board and Baltimore County Councilman Todd Crandell, R-7, Franchot received a guided tour of the new school from Principal Michael Parker.
“Every kid in the state deserves this kind of a facility,” Franchot said about the new Dundalk Elementary School. “It’s modern. It’s cutting-edge. But most importantly, it has great leadership. The principal is just a spectacular individual.”
Franchot spoke more words about Parker, saying that he praises Dundalk Elementary’s teachers, and gives the entire school community a sense of moving forward.
“Dundalk deserves this,” Franchot said. “I am appreciative of the state and the county, and all the money that was put in. I can assure the taxpayers this is money well spent. We have to figure out how to ensure the rest of the state understands what Dundalk has created here.”
The tour began with Parker showing Franchot the school’s security system, which features 72 cameras. The front doors are locked from the outside, and visitors can be granted access only from someone in the school’s front office.
The tour then moved into the school library, where Franchot met with kindergarten class and took a photo with the students. He also met with Ms. Gaphardt’s second grade class. She also received a medallion.
“It’s definitely been community based, as far as the planning,” Franchot said about the completion of the new school.
“The key thing is that the leadership listened to the members of the community and incorporated some of the concerns for reminders of the past, but all the time kept everybody’s eyes on the future. I’ve visited probably 350 schools around the state, and I can ensure people that kids do better in a school, academically, they do better. Socially, they do better, and they’re just better citizens when they go to a school like this.”
The tour ended with a trip to the roof of the building.
Franchot said he remembers days last year when the old Dundalk Elementary was closed due to a lack of air conditioning, adding that it won’t be a problem in a new school.
“Why should kids have to sit in sweltering classrooms, or freezing classrooms during the winter, without proper climate control,” Franchot said. “That’s crazy. This is the year 2019. We need to make sure everybody has good, up-to-date, modern, safe facilities. We can afford that because we’re talking about one-time-only costs, so we have a pretty good idea of what the state can afford.”