Superintendent Wants to Modernize Stonegate Elementary, Delay Farquhar Middle Update
Superintendent Starr’s $1.489 billion capital improvement budget calls for modernizing eight elementary schools, additions to seven schools and building three new schools.
A rapidly growing population of school-age children is putting pressure on Montgomery County Public Schools, according to Superintendent Joshua Starr. Starr released his capital improvement recommendations for fiscal years 2013 to 2018 on Oct. 28, a plan that calls for additions to seven schools, modernizing eight schools and building three new schools.
Under Starr’s $1.489 billion budget, Stonegate Elementary in Colesville is one of eight elementary schools that will be modernized. The other schools are Cold Spring, Dufief, Belmont, Damascus, Twinbrook, Summit Hall and Rosemary Hills elementary schools.
MCPS says most of its enrollment growth is among elementary school age kids. The system currently includes 146,600 students, up 9,000 since 2007. An estimated 156,000 children will attend the county’s public schools by 2017.
“We are certainly mindful of the economic conditions, but the reality is that we need more classroom space to accommodate our current and future growth,” said Starr. “Additionally, construction costs are still low, meaning we can get more for the money we invest today.”
Starr recommends building two elementary schools, both in Rockville, and one middle school in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High cluster.
Six elementary schools would get new classrooms: Arcola, Bethesda, Highland View, North Chevy Chase, Rosemary Hills and Wood Acres elementary schools. Julius West Middle in Rockville would also receive additions.
Farquhar Middle in Olney, slated for modernization under a previous capital improvement budget, would wait a year for upgrades. Starr recommends delaying six secondary school projects and delaying the construction of a middle school in the Clarksburg/Damascus area.
The Board of Education will begin reviewing Starr’s proposal next month. Public hearings are scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 10 and Monday, Nov. 14, both at 7 p.m. in Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. A work session will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 2.
A request will be sent to the county executive and County Council on Nov. 17.
Read the entire capital improvements program.