[Update: The Parents' Coalition has learned that Councilmembers Roger Berliner, Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal, Nancy Navarro, and Duchy Trachtenberg will all support the sale of this property. That's a majority of the Council.]
Like the many acres of public school land that went before it over the last 15 years, this piece of school land will never again be available for the use of public school children.
Here's a few of the sites that have been "surplused" in the last 15 years: remember the 32.61 acre site for a future Olney High School, the 16 acre site for the future Bradley Middle School, the 1.75 acres at Tilden Middle School (Woodward HS site), and the 8.3 acre future River Falls Elementary School site?
Montgomery County will have less available space to place public schools in the future. Meanwhile, 495 classroom trailers are still in use through out the county, even in the area of the 19.5 acres of public school land that will be sold.
The Board of Education wants a guarantee that they will be able to reclaim this 19.5 acre site in the future without litigation. Odds of the Board of Education being able to reclaim this land ever? Don't bet on it.
Gazette: Montgomery Board of Education president wants no court battle over future claim to former high school
But religious academy slated for Aspen Hill site wants to retain legal right
Montgomery County's chief executive is being asked to settle a dispute between the Board of Education and a religious school over the future rights to the former Robert E. Peary High School in Aspen Hill.
In a letter Friday to County Executive Isiah Leggett (D), Board of Education President Patricia B. O'Neill (Dist. 3) wrote that the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy should agree not to stop county government from exercising eminent domain and repurchasing the property for the school system's use, given steadily rising enrollment figures in county schools.
O'Neill said she was concerned that the agreement between the county and the Berman Academy left open the possibility that the academy could prevail in a lawsuit over the rights to the property.
But the same day O'Neill sent her letter, Behnam Dayanim, who is vice president of the Orthodox Jewish school's board of directors, said O'Neill's proposal was a non-starter.
"To say we're going to waive all our rights would not be responsible," Dayanim said in an interview with The Gazette on Friday...