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Kamenetz and Dance Mark Start of Construction on Cockeysville Community Center 

Towson, Maryland (January 27, 2014) – County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Baltimore County Superintendent of Schools Dr. S. Dallas Dance braved the chilly weather this morning to officially break ground on the Cockeysville Community Center, a new recreational facility that will double as the school gymnasium for Padonia International Elementary School. They were joined by an enthusiastic group of school, and community leaders celebrating this innovative project that will expand the capacity of the school and serve the overall community.

"We're truly excited to be moving this project forward because it's a first for us and a fantastic example of how we all benefit by finding innovative ways to share resources," said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. "We have a tremendously positive collaborative relationship with the school system, and this is just one recent example of how we are working together to best serve our students and citizens."

Collaboration Between County Government and County Schools

"The development of a new Cockeysville Community Center demonstrates once again that the entire community benefits from the collaboration between County government and County schools," said BCPS Superintendent Dallas Dance. "The project will help us add seats at Padonia International School and thereby ease overcrowding in the central area and enrich the lives of our students, their families and their neighbors. We continue to work closely with central area families on implementing a comprehensive solution, but this project is a valuable component of that solution."

The new $3 million, 14,260 square foot community center will include a 6,000 square foot gymnasium, a stage, activity rooms and a community room. It will replace the Cockeysville PAL Center currently located across the street from the school, and will be managed by the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks in conjunction with Padonia International Elementary School. Construction is expected to be complete within a year.

Third District Councilman Todd Huff said, "People I've spoken to in the community are really enthusiastic about this new addition to the Cockeysville area. It will be a great resource for our young people and the community as a whole. I really appreciate County Executive Kevin Kamenetz working with me to bring this important project to fruition."

Padonia International Elementary School is a community-based school that follows the traditional BCPS curriculum. The word "International" was added to the name of the school to reflect its significant diversity. Padonia International families come from more than 30 countries, and almost 25 percent of the students participate in English for Speakers of Other Languages services.

Police Athletic League

 At its nine centers located throughout Baltimore County, the Police Athletic League offers educational and athletic programs for youth ages 8-17. Activities are designed to support positive youth development and foster constructive relationships between police officers and youth. In addition to Cockeysville, centers are located in Dundalk, Hillendale, Lansdowne, Mars Estates, Scotts Branch, Shady Spring, Winfield and Woodmoor. For additional information, please visit the Police Athletic League Program site.