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City College students will learn at University of Baltimore during renovations after vote passes

City College students to learn at University of Baltimore during renovations
City College students to learn at University of Baltimore during renovations 03:01

BALTIMORE -- City College, one of Baltimore City's oldest high schools, will soon send students to the University of Baltimore to learn while renovations are being made.

Students and parents voiced support for the move during Tuesday's Baltimore City Public School Board meeting despite the plan coming with some opposition. 

Some board members worried about inequities for others in the public school system.   

The decision to temporarily move Baltimore City College students to the University of Baltimore was approved by the School Board of Commissioners, 8-1, with one absence. 

Councilmember Odette Ramos, who represents District 14 where the school is located, supports the proposal.

"I think it would be a great opportunity for our young people to get to be in a college environment given this is a college preparatory school and really can be a model," Ramos said.

Kurt Schmoke, an alumnus of City College, University of Baltimore President and former Baltimore mayor, offered the campus for lease.

Schmoke said that except for the law school, the university is a night program, leaving plenty of space on campus for the high school. 

"We have worked very hard to make sure that we can deal with safety, academic issues, a whole wide range of problems," Schmoke said.

The original proposal was to shuffle students to the Thurgood Marshall building on Sinclair Lane during the renovations, which is about 3.5 miles away.

"We will have the opportunity to make City College more accessible across Baltimore by being located in a well-established transportation hub," a City College student said.

The University of Baltimore proposal raised some concerns from the Parent and Community Advisory Board.

"Even amongst the majority of us in support of the lease and city schools investment to ready the space, it doesn't necessarily sit right for any of us, for city to be one of many schools slated for renovations but the only one UB has invited to host during the swing period," said Rachel Duncan, Policy Chair of the Parent and Community Advisory Board.

Some board members echoed the need for a better plan for the entire system. 

"Do we understand as a district the inequity, the perception of inequity, this does for the portfolio?" asked Shantell Roberts, the Baltimore City School Board Vice Chair.

Students looking forward to next school year say while it will be hard to leave the "castle" during construction, but there is excitement for the future of their education. 

During a presentation, Baltimore City Public Schools say the lease with the University of Baltimore would be from 2025 to 2028. 

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