Board Approves Reopening Arcola Elementary

November 26, 2002
The Montgomery County Board of Education has approved the reopening of the former Arcola Elementary School to relieve overcrowding in the John F. Kennedy and Albert Einstein clusters in its request for amendments to the Capital Improvements Program (CIP) for Fiscal Years 2004 through 2008.

The Board's action came last week [Thursday, November 21] during a meeting in which a policy on public donations for school facilities also was reconsidered and approved. The Board approved the amended Policy CNE, adding a threshold figure of $50,000 for donations that would need the Board's specific approval.

In its action on the CIP, the Board also approved a request for $150,000 to study ways to improve traffic circulation at the Northwood facility, which currently serves as a holding school for Rockville High School students while their building is modernized. In 2004, the Northwood facility will be reopened as a new high school.

The Board's requested amendments will be forwarded to the County Executive and County Council for review and inclusion in the revised CIP. The reopening of Arcola elementary school, which would occur in the fall of 2006, is one of just nine recommended amendments to the current CIP.

The limited number of changes is due to the biennial budget process that provides an opportunity for only major revisions on a two-year cycle, meaning next year's budget will be open to larger changes. The detailed budget is available on the school system's website at the link below.

Last spring, the County Council adopted the FY 2003-2008 CIP and approved $112.6 million for the Board of Education in FY 2004. The full six-year adopted CIP is $627.8 million. As a result of the action last week, the Board's requested FY 2004 expenditure plan would increase the County Council-adopted CIP by $150,000. The total increase in expenditures for the amended FY 2003-2008 CIP would be a modest $4.4 million.

Besides the reopened school, the new request involves fire safety code upgrades of $950,000, an amount $1 million less than earlier projected. Also included is $1.43 million for replacement cafeteria equipment and mechanical system upgrades, among other improvements.

The proposals include $200,000 for various security measures, including those affecting relocatable classrooms, and $130,000 for stadium lighting at Springbrook High School. Another $150,000 is earmarked to provide advance funding for concession stand improvements that will be repaid by booster clubs.

Technology improvements of $600,000 were identified to begin modernizing the oldest equipment still being used from the first Global Access installations in FY 1994- 1995. The final change is the movement of the Walter Johnson High School modernization from a future to a current budgetary category.

Planning factors influencing the Board's action include continued enrollment growth. Preliminary enrollment this year is 139,500 students, an increase of 2,668 students from last year. By 2008, enrollment is projected to reach 144,801.

<<Back to browse