Rockville, Wheaton school renovation and expansion projects could be delayed -- Gazette.Net


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Plans to build a new elementary school in Rockville remain on track, but some other renovation projects will likely be delayed, according to a proposal before the Board of Education.

Superintendent Joshua P. Starr debuted his proposed Capital Improvements Program plan late last month. The plan covers building and renovation projects throughout the district over the next five years.

The proposal delays 20 renovation projects in the school system by one to two years. Starr cited fiscal constraints and a lack of state funding as the reasons for delaying some of the projects.

In the Rockville and Wheaton areas, the proposal recommends delaying revitalization and expansion projects at three elementary schools and one high school.

An expansion and revitalization project at Wootton High School that was previously expected to be finished in 2020 has been pushed back to 2022 for building and 2023 for restoration. To be finished on the new schedule, county and state funding for facility planning will be needed in fiscal 2015, according to the proposal.

Similar funding will be needed in 2017 for a feasibility study of revitalization and expansion projects at Twinbrook Elementary School. The anticipated date of completion for those projects has been pushed back from 2021 to 2022. Wheaton Woods Elementary School will need construction funds in 2016 to finish its revitalization and expansion project by 2017. The project was initially planned to be finished by 2016.

Maryvale Elementary School’s revitalization and expansion project has been pushed back from 2018 to 2019 with architectural designs scheduled to begin in 2016, if funding allows. When the project is finished, the Carl Sandburg Learning Center is expected to be located on the school’s campus.

Not all the news out of Starr’s proposed capital improvements program is about projects being pushed back. A fifth elementary school in the Richard Montgomery cluster, which is supposed to alleviate some of the crowding in other area schools, is scheduled to be completed in 2017 under Starr’s proposal.

The school was initially scheduled to open in 2015, but the County Council pushed the opening date back last year to 2017, citing a lack of funds, The Gazette reported.

Crowded schools in Rockville have led to a moratorium on new residential development that could draw families with school-age children in some areas.

The county Board of Education is expected to approve a capital improvements program request Nov. 18, which will then go to the county executive and the council for approval, according to a school district news release.

Read ongoing coverage of countywide education news at www.gazette.net/learningcurve.



ewaibel@gazette.net