Baltimore City College (BCC) hopes to raise $2 million to renovate its library, seeking to create a new academic hub that will facilitate research and exploratory learning.

The school has already raised over a quarter of its goal as its students and staff have committed themselves to the fundraising effort.

“Because we’re a traditional public school we don’t have a fundraising office,” said social studies teacher and library fundraising campaign coordinator J.D. Merrill. “And so our teachers, our students, whoever can do it, step up to the plate when we have a project like this.”

Students at the school have formed a fundraising committee whose goal is to raise $20,000, and which has already raised $3,000 on its own.

“That’s just a testament to how much the students want and feel like they need this library, and how invested they are in their future,” said Merrill.

BCC is a citywide liberal arts magnet high school offering the rigorous International Baccalaureate program, and which sends 99 percent of its students to college—an impressive result given that 62 percent of its student body receives free or reduced price lunch, an indicator of poverty. Merrill said the question is not whether BCC is adequately preparing its students for the rigors of college, but whether it can prepare them even better.

“At the college level, there’s a very large emphasis on independent, unique research, as well as collaborative research, and having a 21st century library that has the resources and capabilities to assist students will help prepare them for that type of work at the college level,” he said.

So far, the school has raised a total of $675,000 through its campaign. Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible donation can do so at