Board of Education Adds New Gyms to Push for More Classrooms, Schools, Programs and Updated Facilities

November 24, 1999
The Board of Education last week [Thursday, November 18, 1999] added a request for $4.8 million to build four elementary school gyms as part of a $670.7 million Capital Improvements Program (CIP) that includes new schools, more classrooms, and update facilities to serve an enrollment that will reach more than 140,000 students by 2005.

The projected increase of nearly 9,000 students over this year highlights nearly every aspect of the six-year CIP and the immediate needs outlined in the Fiscal Year 2001 Capital Budget of $112.3 million. The proposals were approved by the Board at the recommendation of Superintendent of Schools Jerry D. Weast.

The new gyms would be added to Ashburton, Lakewood, Greenwood, and Charles R. Drew elementary schools as part of the CIP extending through Fiscal Year 2006. This proposal and the entire capital budget request will be forwarded to the county executive and County Council for consideration and approval.

The overall plan for improving school facilities, as approved by the Board, notes that the growing enrollment will necessitate adding 202 new classrooms to existing facilities, building three new schools, accelerating the backlog of school modernizations, and initiating the planning to add another 216 classrooms at 15 more schools.

Among the new initiatives to be planned are facilities for improved pre school education in the county, such as early childhood centers that would be available for a comprehensive interagency initiative, along with the expansion of space for enhanced kindergarten programs.

The Board's new CIP also includes requests for expanded use of technology as a literacy tool at the elementary level and the modernization of technology equipment at the high school level. Also requested is the introduction of distance learning through interactive television in order to share expertise in instructional programs among schools.

Also included is a boundary study for the Town of Kensington and studies to address overcrowding at Sally K. Ride Elementary School, establish boundaries for the new Northwest Elementary School #6, and reassign the Fallsgrove (Thomas Farm) development from the Thomas S. Wootton cluster to the Richard Montgomery cluster. The Board also approved a recommendation to conduct a community review to explore program and facility options for Montgomery Blair High School that is projected to grow to more than 3,400 students by September 2005.

<<Back to browse