the Nearly Billion Dollar Investment in Baltimore City Schools
Through the 21st Century Schools Initiative, Baltimore City Public Schools, in partnership with the Maryland Stadium Authority, Baltimore City, and the State of Maryland, will be investing nearly one billion dollars to renovate or replace schools over the next several years. (see map of all Phase 1 school buildings) On September 10, 2015, a public forum on the 21st Century School Buildings Program was held at Baltimore Design School. A variety of stakeholders including students, parents, administrators, architects, community-based organizations, and elected officials attended to learn more about the program, share updates, and discuss insights from their involvement in the program.
Click on map to enlarge.
The Department of Planning is conducting a planning program for the neighborhoods around each of the new or renovated schools. The program is called INSPIRE, which stands for Investing in Neighborhoods and Schools to Promote Improvement, Revitalization, and Excellence.
INSPIRE plans focus on improving the quarter-mile surrounding each 21st century school in order to strengthen the connection between the renovated schools and their surrounding neighborhoods. Plans will articulate the community’s vision for guiding private investment as well as identify specific, implementable public improvements in areas such as transportation, housing, and open space to improve the surrounding neighborhood so that it can better support the school and its residents.
Each plan identifies key routes to school and
recommends improvements along these routes, such as sidewalk repairs, tree
planting/pruning, crosswalks, lighting, etc.
The INSPIRE planning process has three phases: Listen, Create, and Deliver. A Core Team of community volunteers will guide each phase of the INSPIRE process and serve as ambassadors of the program.
Stakeholders will identify existing conditions
around the school and identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.
Information will be gathered through reviewing existing plans, neighborhood
history, and demographic profiles and conducting walking tours, surveys,
workshops, and focus groups.
CREATE: Drafting and Reviewing Recommendations
Planning Department staff will
create draft recommendations based on stakeholder input during the information
gathering phase of the planning process.
Stakeholders will review, refine, and prioritize the draft vision and recommendations.
DELIVER: Writing and Reviewing the Plan
Planning Department staff will develop a draft
plan. Stakeholders will review the draft
plan document prior to adoption by the Planning Commission.
As the feasibility studies are approved for each
of the school buildings in phase one of the 21st Century School
Buildings Plan, the Planning Department begins the first stage of the INSPIRE
process with school communities and proceeds to move through the stages until
there is an INSPIRE plan for each school neighborhood.
The Planning Department has begun the INSPIRE
process in eight of the school neighborhoods and will begin the process in two
additional schools this fall. The graphic below depicts where in the process
each of the school neighborhoods are with an estimated completion date for the
For more details about INPSIRE and materials
from each planning process that the Department is currently working in, please
visit the INSPIRE webpage.