A popular plan to allow Baltimore City College students to move to the University of Baltimore for three years during the renovation of the high school’s century-old building may not get the city school board’s approval.

The sudden uncertainty in plans has caused an uproar among students and parents who organized an email campaign to persuade school board members to change their minds before the vote, which is expected Tuesday.

When University of Baltimore President Kurt Schmoke heard last year that City College would be moving temporarily to an empty middle school on Sinclair Lane, he was disheartened. A proud alumnus of City, one of Baltimore’s oldest and most prestigious high schools, he called City’s principal and asked her if she might consider using his college campus.

The arrangement seemed perfect, he said. UB had plenty of classroom space during the day because most of its classes were taught at night. Just two blocks from the building, the university has a parking garage with 900 spaces for faculty and students who drive to school. UB has a gym and is close to light rail as well as bus lines on Charles Street.

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And Schmoke was offering the university to the city schools free of charge.

Over the months, Schmoke said, UB and the city schools figured out the details, from how to provide more security to how to feed the students breakfast and lunch. When all of those details were finished, a lease was drawn up. The City College community, particularly parents, were delighted by the arrangement. But last week, when city school administrators went before a subcommittee of the school board, board members pushed back with concerns about equity, according to a spokesman for the school system. Despite some objections, the issue will be brought to the full board on Tuesday.

“I was told some concerns were raised at the operations committee and ... there was a possibility that the arrangement might not be approved by the school board,” Schmoke said.

It is unclear what the board member concerns are. A video of the operations committee meeting has not been posted on the school system website. Board members did not respond to a request for information.

But the school community was told that the issue had been about equity, and what other schools would have access to use UB.

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Schmoke, who is also a former Baltimore mayor, declined to characterize board concerns, but said he believed the board was doing its “due diligence.” He had spoken to a couple of board members, he said, making them aware that 620 city schools students who come from 18 high schools that do not have entrance requirements are taking classes at UB. The opportunity allows students to enroll in college classes at UB, earning both high school and college credit in what is known as a dual enrollment program. Just this year, students have earned thousands of credits toward college.

Schmoke said he will speak at the public board meeting on Tuesday, if he is able to, before the board votes on the lease.

In an email to the City College community, a staff member asked for supporters of the UB plan to email school board members and come to the school board meeting. “Now ready to go, the lease agreement would provide for City’s students to continue to receive a high quality program in a collegiate environment, something other colleges around the nation are modeling with their local high schools,” the email said.

Four historic city high schools — City, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Western and Frederick Douglass — will be renovated over the next decade at a cost of more than $520 million. Students are moving out of the buildings during the multi-year renovations and into empty school buildings. The first proposal called for an empty middle school building on Sinclair Lane and Moravia Road to be renovated so that City students could move in to it for three years.

City students and parents objected to the location, which is about four miles farther east in Baltimore and would be more difficult for students coming from the west side of the city to get there using public transportation.

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