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Land Aquisition

An analysis of school site acreage discloses that some of the older schools are deficient in site acreage. The newer schools, however, are being constructed on sites of ample size, conforming to acceptable acreage standards. Elementary school sites acquired during the first half of the 1950 decade range from 7 to 10 acres, while school sites of more recent acquisition range from 10 to 15 acres. Most sites occupied by the county's middle and high school range from 20 to 65 acres. In searching for land for new school sites several major issues play into the amount of acreage required. These issues include topography, reforestation requirements, storm water management, AND access and environmental issues such as wetlands. In reviewing site requirements, it is important to remember that each site must be evaluated individually; however, based on existing and proposed school capacity and site ranges, the target size of school sites shall be as listed above. These site ranges have to take into account a wide variety of environmental issues that may be encountered on a site including wetlands, steep slopes, endangered plants and animals, afforestation and reforestation, existing easements, utilities and availability for adequate septic disposal whether from public facilities or on-site septic.  Each site investigated must meet all applicable federal, state and local rules and regulations and must be considered separately, when determining the amount of acreage required for the construction of the school.

Acreage allotment by school size

 School Level  Acreage
 Elementary School (400 - 650 students)  25 - 30 acres
 Middle School (790 - 1,060 students)  35 - 45 acres
 High School (1,575 - 1,695 students)  60 - 75 acres

Current Land Solicitation

St. Mary's County Public Schools (SMCPS) is soliciting land for new schools. Parcels of 15-30 acres in size are sought as sites for elementary schools. Parcels of 75-125 acres in size are sought as a combination middle/high school site. SMCPS is also interested in parcels containing 90-140 acres for use as an educational campus containing an elementary, middle, and high school.

Interested parties should contact Mrs. Kimberly Howe, Director of Capital Planning for St. Mary's County Public Schools at (301) 475-4256, extension 6.