B-CC staff, residents choose potential designs for proposed addition -- Gazette.Net


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SEI Architects are working on cost estimates for three options to increase student capacity at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.

Residents and Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School staff chose three potential designs Nov. 28 for an addition at the school that would increase capacity to 2,400 students.

SEI Architects, a consultant for Montgomery County Public Schools, had presented four designs to the community as part of a feasibility study to develop design options for a proposed addition that would increase capacity from 1,665 students to 2,400 students. The school is currently over capacity by about 200 students.

“Every cluster in the county is going to have more enrollment than they used to,” said Bruce Crispell, director of the division of long range planning for MCPS. “The county has been good at addressing it. I think that’s the part that people will be happy about.”

The feasibility study kicked off Oct. 9 and is now complete after a series of three worksessions that were open to the community.

Of the four design options, one was eliminated, Crispell said. He said by general consensus attendees eliminated Option C, a four-story addition that would be built across the front of the building. An option similar to that version that still is in consideration is Option D, which would also be built across the front of the building but be elevated off the ground to provide access underneath for cars and buses.

Although that design is moving forward, Crispell said people seemed to prefer options A and B, two-story additions that would wrap around the gym and extend over the existing bleachers. Each option has a different configuration of classrooms and corridors.

“All three will be costed out by the architect and the report will go to the Board [of Education],” Crispell said. “What we found out is it’s feasible to construct an addition that would take the school up to 2,400 [students], and there’s more than one way to do it.”

He said cost estimates will be developed by SEI Architects in a process that will take at least several months. The goal is to have cost estimates by September so MCPS staff can request funds to build the addition from the Montgomery County Council as part of the 2015-2020 Capital Improvements Plan, he said.

Design and construction phases would each take at least a year and a half, with the school scheduled to open by August 2017, he said.

A community presentation is scheduled for 7 p.m. Dec. 11, where Crispell said residents will have the opportunity to learn more about the three options and ask questions. The meeting will take place in the cafeteria of B-CC High School, at 4301 East-West High School, Crispell said.

jablamsky@gazette.net