After an onslaught of support for Baltimore City College, the city school board approved a plan to allow students to move to the University of Baltimore for three years during the renovation of the high school’s century-old building.

The decision was in doubt last week as the school board considered whether allowing the prestigious high school to move to UB would give them preferential treatment.

The other option was to move the school to an empty middle school — Thurgood Marshall — in Southeast Baltimore that needed about $11.5 million in improvements to make it ready to serve as high school for three years. The building would then be turned over to the city government as surplus building.

About 100 of City College’s intensely loyal alumnae, parents and students came to the school board meeting Tuesday night to try to persuade the board members to change their minds before the vote.

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The vote was 8-to-1 with only the vice-chair, Shantell Roberts, voting no. Roberts said she was not opposed to the move but believed that safety and security was an issue that should be addressed at other schools at the same time.

Before the vote, Roberts said, “I am deeply troubled. Do we understand as a district that inequity, the perception of the inequity” that many feel. She said, “I don’t get to just focus on City College,” she said, adding that there are 164 schools.

CEO Sonja Santelises said the district will be installing new locks in all city schools in the next year, and providing more staff in some schools where safety is an issue. Santelises said she understands that there has been historic inequity in opportunities for different students, but that she was working to correct those issues.

“We are continuing to push for investments in all our schools,” she said, but added that the system should not “leave an opportunity on the table” to help some students.

City College students testified that moving the school to the closed Thurgood Marshall Middle School would be more expensive, require a longer ride on public transit and would delay the renovations for another year.

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Student Charlie Martin said 60% of students would spend more time on public transportation getting to Thurgood Marshall. “The potential move to Thurgood is a serious concern for many parents, as 16% of students would have a commute on public transit of more than three hours.”

Martin said that City College was first put on a list to be renovated in 2012, with plans to begin in 2015. “It’s not fair to have our needs continuously delayed when there is a better option that would be ready in the fall of 2025,” Martin said.

Another student, Clayton Thomas, said allowing City students to move to UB would give them the opportunity to take college classes there. Coppin Academy and Bard Early College High School offer dual enrollment.

A number of alumnae also came to support the school, including the current alumnae president, a 1960 graduate and University of Baltimore President Kurt Schmoke, who is also a graduate. When Schmoke heard last year that City College would be moving temporarily to Thurgood Marshall he decided to offer the university location.

The arrangement would fit the university’s schedule because most classes there are taught at night rather than the day when City could use the facility.

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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.

And Schmoke was offering the university to the city schools free of charge, although city school officials said it would cost about $9.8 million to build more classroom space and a cafeteria, provide more security, and do other upgrades to the university.

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.