Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Superintendent Jack R. Smith is requesting minor adjustments to the district’s current Capital Improvements Program (CIP) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, including expenditure shifts for five projects, two new boundary studies and one site selection study.
The Recommended FY 2018 Capital Budget and Amendments to the FY 2017–2022 Capital Improvements Program that was submitted to the Board of Education on Oct. 27, maintains the level of funding for the six years that was approved in the adopted CIP. The County Council’s adopted FY 2017 Capital Budget and FY 2017–2022 CIP for MCPS totaled $1.729 billion.
“As our enrollment continues to significantly increase, the Board of Education and the County Council have shown strong support and made significant investments to meet the growing space and facility needs of MCPS,” Dr. Smith said. “While I am only seeking small changes to the current CIP that will allow us to plan for the continued growth of our school system, we must be prepared in the next CIP cycle to address the backlog of projects and growing overutilization at our middle and high schools. ”
Every two years, the county approves a six-year Capital Improvements Program, which includes school construction and infrastructure projects. In off years, such as FY 2018, only amendments to the adopted CIP are considered.
MCPS is experiencing its ninth straight year of significant enrollment growth. Preliminary enrollment for this school year is 159,242, an increase of 21,497 students since 2007. By 2022, enrollment is expected to reach 168,480 students. In order to address this growth, nearly 15,000 seats have been added to increase capacity through new school openings and expansion of existing schools. And while most of this growth has taken place in elementary grades, many of these elementary school students have begun to enter middle and high school and, as a result, those schools quickly will become overutilized during the next six years.
In order to address this growth, the adopted 2017-2022 CIP includes funding for the planning, design, and/or construction of 17 elementary school capacity projects, seven middle school capacity projects, and two high school capacity projects. The adopted CIP also included planning and construction funds for 14 elementary school revitalization/expansion projects, along with four middle school and four high school revitalization/expansion projects. These projects will focus on aging infrastructure and address overutilization at many schools throughout the district. The adopted CIP also includes funding for many countywide systemic projects that will allow MCPS to upgrade or replace various building systems at several schools.
The superintendent’s FY 2018 capital budget and CIP amendments include the following recommendations:
- Expenditure shifts for five projects, including the Tilden Middle School/Rock Terrace School revitalization/expansion project; the Blair G. Ewing Center relocation project; and three “placeholder” projects—Albert Einstein Cluster High School Solution, Northwood Cluster High School Solution, and Walter Johnson Cluster High School Solution.
- A boundary study to determine the service area for Richard Montgomery Elementary School #5. The boundary study will explore options to reassign the Chinese Immersion Program currently located at College Gardens Elementary School to another elementary school in the Richard Montgomery Cluster. The boundary study will occur in spring 2017 with Board of Education action in November 2017.
- A boundary study to explore the possibility to reassign the area of Highland Elementary School that is currently assigned to Sligo Middle School to Newport Mill Middle School. The boundary study will occur in winter 2016/17 with Board of Education action in spring 2017.
- A site selection study in the Clarksburg Cluster to identify the location for a new elementary school to address the continued enrollment growth in the cluster. The site selection study will occur in spring 2017 with Board of Education action in November 2017.
The Board of Education will consider Dr. Smith’s amendments and recommendations at a work session on Thursday, November 3. The Board will hold public hearings on Thursday, November 10 and Monday, November 14 on the CIP amendments and recommendations. Both hearings will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held at the Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. The Board will approve a CIP amendment request on Monday, November 21. The request will then be submitted to the County Executive and the County Council for consideration. For more information on the hearings and to sign up to speak, visit the Board of Education website.
The County Executive will issue his recommended FY 2017-2022 CIP amendments for all county agencies by mid-January for County Council discussion and action. The Council will hold a hearing in early February and will conduct work sessions in March and April, before adopting an approved FY 2018 Capital Budget and Amendments to the FY 2017-2022 CIP by the end of May.
Capital Improvements Program