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Phoenix Center Undergoing Modernization, Expansion

When complete, $22.7 million will be invested in the county's educational center that will serve about 240 students.

The former Germantown Elementary building on Cedar Park Road will continue to undergo a complete overhaul with expansion over the next few years to house the Phoenix Center.

Work has already started and, when complete, a total of $22.7 million will have been invested in the 71-year-old building.

The Phoenix Center is currently located at 291 Locust Ave.       

"It's a comprehensive K through 12 education facility, part of our special education program," explained Bob Mosier, spokesman for Anne Arundel County Public Schools. 

"It mainly serves children with emotional disabilities, but when the new complex is done, we'll not only have a regional program for our elementary and our secondary students with emotional disability—that'll be about 135 combined in those two programs and then another 100 or so in secondary alternative academy, which will be separate from the program for the emotionally disabled students and there will be a career and technology education as well," Mosier explained.

In addition to modernizing the old, quite a bit of new space is being added. 

"It’s a complete modernization of the building," said Mosier. "The current building is 54,850 square feet. We're going to modernize about 50,000 of that and add about 20,000 square feet so you’re going to end up with about 70,000 square feet—it’s going to remain one story."

Currently, the Phoenix Center occupies a much smaller building within view of both the old and buildings.

About $10 million worth of work has already been done, while another $10 million has been approved for the coming year—leaving $2.7 million for fiscal year 2013, explained Mosier. 

That total differs from $17.747 million for building construction and site development, given in the March 2011 design development report (attached as a PDF to this article). 

Mosier said that total does not account for demolition, furniture, fixtures or equipment.   

If all goes as planned, it should be about a year for work to finish. 

"Construction started in May and we expect that we can occupy the building in August 2013," Mosier said.

Donna L. Cole June 19, 2012 at 12:15 PM
A Facebook follower has asked what will become of the old Phoenix Center building. According to Mosier, it will become a County school administrative building, as administrative space will be lost in the renovation of Annapolis Elementary.

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