Arlington Among the 21st Century School Buildings to open this week
Students and staff of Arlington Elementary School #234, returned to a building with a fresh new look both inside and out. Located at 3705 W. Rogers Avenue in Park Heights, Arlington Elementary’s renovations and additions include updated modern classroom spaces, an outdoor area for instructional use, enhanced technology including labs, food pantry space, and sound enhancement systems in all classrooms.
Ursula V. Battle
Arlington is among the 21st Century Schools, which opened in Baltimore this week. On August 28, 2019, a Ribbon-Cutting Celebration was held at Arlington Elementary School. The event also included tours of the school, and was attended by city and state officials, students and their families, alumni, current and former staff, and members of the community.
“Whatever time I leave as Speaker, I want to make sure that no child leaves or attends a school where there is no heat in the winter and no air conditioning in the spring and summer,” said Speaker of the Maryland House Of Delegates Adrienne A. Jones. “Our students deserve the best in this learning environment. I wish Principal Emily Hunter and the faculty a very successful school year in this beautiful building.”
Ursula V. Battle
Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young also spoke during the ceremony.
“This building shows our children we care about them, value them and believe in their future,” said Mayor Young. “It also shows our teachers and staff we value them, value the work they do, and we honor the sacrifices these educators make to do this very important work.
“Every school in our city should be a 21st Century School. Every child in Baltimore should have access to the same amenities when they show up to learn. I will continue to work with our state delegation in Annapolis to make that a reality for all of our children. This type of environment will set the standards and foundation for learning in Baltimore City.”
The 21st Century School Buildings Program creates inspiring educational environments for Baltimore City and its public school students and recreational facilities for the community. The program is a partnership among the Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA), Baltimore City Public Schools, the City of Baltimore, and the Interagency Commission on Public School Construction (IAC).
Community planning meetings for Arlington Elementary School started in 2016. The community expressed its hope for an updated building that maintained its historic presence, in particular, the original stained-glass windows from 1982.
The stained-glass windows were restored and encased in protective materials and are once again a shining focal point for the school. In partnership with the community, City Schools planned grade reconfigurations, with Arlington set to serve pre-k through fifth-grade students. Middle school students who previously attended Arlington Elementary/Middle will have the opportunity to attend Pimlico Elementary Middle School. Pimlico is also a 21st Century School Buildings Program school and is open and occupied.
Ursula V. Battle
“This is also a delivery of a promise; a promise that was made that we would fight for 21st Century School Buildings for our young people throughout Baltimore because this is what they deserve,” said Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott. “You have to understand what it means for a neighborhood like Park Heights— living in an area that has challenges, the school is the safe place.
“When the safe place doesn’t have air conditioning, when the safe place doesn’t have heat, and when you can’t use the toilet in the bathroom or shut the stall [door] in the bathroom, it no longer becomes the safe place. But for the students at Arlington Elementary, that’s no longer the case anymore. They will be going to a school like no other. We can’t stop there. We have to make sure every single student is afforded the same opportunity.”
Arlington also has three new playgrounds, and through the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, the school now has an Early Childhood
Developmental Center to offer developmentally appropriate education, health, case management and family support services to children and their families. The school also features collaborative learning areas, designed with movable furniture and technology.
“Imagine how much more we can do when all of our schools reach the standard of the 21st Century buildings as the one we are acknowledging today,” said Linda Chinna, Board Chair for the Baltimore City Schools Board of Commissioners. “The School Board is really on a mission to be certain that all of our students are career and college ready at a 22nd Century standard. They all do deserve to have the best facilities and resources and we will continue with that focus.”
To see a short video of the ribbon cutting, visit: www.baltimoretimes-online.com.