The Charles County commissioners voted Jan. 12 to "forward fund" $8.4 million for the renovation and reconstruction of Eva Turner Elementary School.
The local funding will temporarily make up for a lack of state funds, a board document states. The state was only able to fund $1.5 million for the project in the current fiscal year and only plans to fund $732,000 in fiscal 2022.
For the project to stay on track, the county needed to forward fund the project until the state provides their remaining share. Although the Charles public schools' board appealed the state's decision in the hopes that it will provide the funding in the next fiscal year, county officials say that they may not receive the state funding until fiscal 2023 or 2024.
Jacob Dyer, county chief of budget, said the state will likely fund the school project over a period of years instead of now.
The $22 million renovation and reconstruction project was 69% complete in mid-November, according to school system spokeswoman Katie O'Malley-Simpson, and is now as much as 74% complete. It is slated to be finished by June.
The project includes a 40,000-square-foot renovation and a 20,000-square-foot addition that will be used for grades 3 through 5. Mechanical and electrical systems have been updated to meet current standards as part of the renovation.
The update of the circa-1978 school — which was named after a woman who was principal of the school from 1930 to 1966 — began in the summer of 2019.