On October 23, MCPS Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith presented the School Board with his budgetary recommendations for the 2019 fiscal year. His proposal includes a 1.818 billion dollar six-year program for county wide school construction to address an influx in enrollment and system wide space deficits.
The recommendations include a 74 million dollar increase from the current Capital Improvements Program (CIP). It also includes 30 capacity projects to address the space deficits, and the construction of new schools and additions to existing buildings.
On the elementary school level, three new schools and four addition projects (Cresthaven, DuFief, Ronald McNair and Roscoe R. Nix elementary schools) are recommended. Among the schools approved for additions are Parkland Middle School and Silver Spring International, the latter of which will be undergoing comprehensive infrastructure modifications such as new lockers and gymnasiums. Finally, Smith recommended two new high school addition projects along with two pre approved ones which will address overutilization in the Walter Johnson cluster and space deficits at multiple mid county schools.
In addition to school-based recommendations, Dr. Smith included a significant increase in funds for replacements of Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning systems which directly affect teachers and administrators daily.
The Board held public hearings for the proposal on Monday, November 6 and Wednesday, November 8. After work sessions and follow-up meetings to address any alternatives to the Superintendent’s recommendation, the Board is scheduled to take action on the CIP on Monday, November 27.
Article by MoCo Student staff writer Sreelekha Chillanki of Richard Montgomery High School
Photo courtesy of MCPS