In late October, Superintendent Joshua Starr recommended a $220.8 million increase in the district’s six-year school construction plan to address the significant demand for space in Montgomery County Public Schools.
As of late, schools such as Wheaton High School, Farquhar Middle School, and Julius West Middle School are all currently under construction or will begin construction over the next few months.
Many have surmised that students in these schools are bothered by the construction noises and are distracted by the constant hammering and sawing. Yet on the contrary, students and teachers from these schools are quite optimistic about what the reconstruction has to offer.
Kailande Cassamajor, a sophomore at Wheaton High School, says that the renovations will help with “accommodating the increasing number of people going to Wheaton” The blueprint for the new Wheaton school building contains three floors. When the population exceeds 2000 students, a fourth floor will be added.
Construction can be a hassle, but at the end of the day, students can agree that the petty annoyances are worth the final product. “Because of construction, there had to be lots of changes to sports practice schedules, but it’s all worth it. More people will be hearing about Wheaton’s programs.” Kailande explained, referring to Wheaton’s Engineering Magnet Program, Biomedical Magnet Program, and a variety of other academic opportunities.
Others are excited for the renovations because of the environmental aspect. “I’m extremely excited for the new school. It’s LEED certified,” says Laura Pham, also a sophomore at Wheaton. LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, certification, requires building projects to build using environmentally friendly prerequisites, and maintain a green environment.
“I feel like our grade performances will improve because having a new and aesthetically pleasing school will give students a sense of pride in their education system.”
At Julius West, construction is on the way as well. David Kim, a Social Studies teacher, is looking forward to the renovations. With a school of 1200-strong students, there are four portables in use and numerous teachers with no permanent rooms. Kim states, “We are currently a high-school sized population in a small middle school building. Any additional space will be beneficial for everyone.”
However, Kim knows that not all change is good. “Bigger schools well become less intimate. Being a somewhat social teacher, it’s kind of a bummer that I won’t see my students in the hallways anymore.”
Article by the MoCo Student staff writer Jennifer Chen
Image from mymcmedia