Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Planning begins for Rock View Elementary

Kensington school to get a new 12-room addition

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Montgomery County Public Schools will hold a series of meetings for community members to learn about and discuss plans for an upcoming expansion at Rock View Elementary School in Kensington.

The first of the meetings, which will bring together parents, school officials and architects, was scheduled for Tuesday night, past The Gazette’s deadline.

The expansion will add 12 new classrooms and move the fourth and fifth grades out of eight portable classrooms and into the building, according to Principal Patsy Roberson.

‘‘I’d say there’s a big need,” she said. ‘‘When they renovated the building in 1999, I guess they didn’t provision real well for growth. We have our fourth and fifth grades in portables, and we need to have them in the building.”

Roberson said the school had around 504 students last year, and county schools officials expect the number to hover around 524 for the next several years.

The current building first built in 1955 and modernized in 1999, can handle 387 students. The addition will increase the capacity to 545.

Roberson said the ‘‘classroom suite” would comprise classrooms for the English for Speakers of Other Languages program, special education, regular classrooms, planning rooms for teachers and an office for the assistant principal.

Part of the school’s blacktop playground and part of the soccer field in the rear of the building would be taken for the addition.

Roberson said the architects showed her concept sketches in May.

‘‘The school still looks brand new so I’m sure [the addition] will be complimentary,” she said. ‘‘What [architects] showed me in May blended really well, and it looked nice.”

Christopher Cram, public schools spokesman, said that plans for the addition are in the very beginning stages.

‘‘There is no [approved] design yet,” he wrote in an e-mail to The Gazette. ‘‘An architect has been selected and a contract negotiated but it is yet to be approved by the Board of Education.”

According to Montgomery County Public Schools Web site, the design phase will be completed in the 2008-2009 school year, and construction is expected to begin in the 2009-2010 school year.

The addition would open in 2010 before the first day of school barring any construction delays.

Design guidelines are not concrete, Roberson said, and parents are encouraged to attend the meetings and learn about the construction design and process.

The next meeting will take place at 1 p.m., July 23 at the school, 3901 Denfeld Ave., Kensington. For more information, call the school at 301-929-2002.

To learn more

Three meetings will be held to see designs for and discuss an addition to Rock View Elementary School.

1 p.m., July 23

7 p.m., July 30

1 p.m., Aug. 6

The meetings will be held at the school located at 3901 Denfeld Ave., Kensington. For more information, call the school at 301-929-2002.