Brickyard Site No Longer Slated for Soccer Fields

The county school board voted to cancel its lease of the Brickyard site in Potomac with the county, which had planned to develop the site with soccer fields.

The Brickyard Road property in Potomac—owned by Montgomery County Public Schools and leased for use as an organic farm for the past three decades—is no longer being considered for lease to the county, which intended to turn it into soccer fields, MCPS announced Tuesday night.

In a letter to the county school board on Tuesday, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) wrote that the county was relinquishing the county's lease on the site, and that the county no longer intends to develop the property for recreational purposes.

The site—once slated for a middle school—has been the focus of months of controvery and legal wrangling. A group of Potomac activists, residents and farm supporters want the site to be maintained as an organic farm and educational site. They say the lease agreement with the county was executed without full public transparency, Patch reported.

On Tuesday evening, at a special school board session, the school board voted to cancel its lease of the land to the county. "The property is now in the possession of the Montgomery County Board of Education and remains a future school site," the statement said.

Nick's Organic Farm leased the property for the past 32 years, and for the past few years, the Brickyard Educational Farm on the property helped local kids learn about where their food comes from.

But when the lease was up, the land was to be leased to the county and turned into soccer fields. 

Click here to read more about the controversy over the Brickyard Road site on Potomac Patch.

Earlier Tuesday, school security personnel began securing the property, cutting through fencing around the site and preparing to lock the property up, according to a statement from Save This Soil.

Sophia Maravell, founder of the Brickyard Educational Farm, said on Tuesday afternoon that "maybe the locks aren’t to keep us out, but to keep out the county, otherwise they would have locked Brickyard Educational Farm’s entrance."

Editor's note: This story has been updated to note that the school board vote was conducted in an open session, according to Montgomery County School Board President Christopher S. Barclay. 

Janis February 21, 2013 at 09:24 PM
Really? Where is the funding for this imaginary school?
Michael H February 22, 2013 at 09:10 PM
We need to correct one item here: Some of the comments seem to paint MSI as an elitist small private club. MSI is a non-profit organization and, I believe, one of the largest youth sports organization in the county. Per their website, 15,000 of our children play soccer for MSI each Fall and Spring. Finding or building a space that benefits 15,000 children isn't evil...it is just a different benefit than the farm is/was. Different priorities doesn't always make them wrong.
jnrentz1 February 24, 2013 at 06:26 PM
For those of you who care about the over development of our County, here is another boondoggle in Bethesda adjacent to Wildwood Manor and its Shopping Center (Old Georgetown Road, Cheshire Drive, east of where Democracy intersects). http://www.bethesdanow.com/2013/01/22/county-council-approves-controversial-wildwood-apartment/ To characterize the development as controversial is an understatement. Please review the above article and express your displeasure at this travesty of over development. What are these developers and their fellow travelers thinking?
Janis February 25, 2013 at 03:06 AM
Twang February 25, 2013 at 06:02 PM
Congratulations to the folks in Potomac. This happened in Olney a few years ago. A BOE school site on Bowie Mill road was transferred to a developer. No public notice was given. Even the people involved in the master planning process were blindsided. Once we found out, it was too late too change it. Now they are building low-income housing on the site.


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