Three Modernized Schools Open to Students and Staff

January 4, 2012
Projects Completed On Time and On Budget

Nearly 1,300 Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students returned from winter break Wednesday (January 4) to newly modernized schools that are state of the art and environmentally friendly.

Cannon Road, Garrett Park and Seven Locks elementary schools reopened to students on schedule Wednesday, as the finishing touches were put on more than $50 million in modernization projects.
“These projects represent a tremendous commitment from our citizens to provide spaces where our students can learn, grow and thrive,” said Shirley Brandman, president of the Montgomery County Board of Education. “I want to thank our county and state leaders for their continued investment in our capital programs even in these difficult economic times.”

For the past 18 months, the students at Cannon Road, Garrett Park and Seven Locks elementary schools were in temporary facilities while their home schools were completely renovated and rebuilt.  Over the winter break, the schools were moved back into their modernized facilities. At the same time, three other elementary schools—Bradley Hills, Glenallan and Weller Road—were moved into temporary facilities so construction projects could begin.  

Students were given an extra day off Tuesday so final preparations could be made in classrooms, kitchens and other spaces.

“Completing our capital projects on time and on budget takes tremendous teamwork by our staff and our community,” said Superintendent of Schools Joshua P. Starr. “I want to thank our employees, our parents and our citizens for their commitment to provide secure, modern learning spaces for our students.”

A news conference celebrating the opening of the three schools was held Wednesday (January 4) at Garrett Park Elementary School.

Since 1985, MCPS has completed modernization projects at 77 schools—55 elementary schools, 11 middle schools and 11 high schools. Seventeen additional modernization projects are scheduled for completion by 2018.  Over the past 25 years, MCPS has also opened—or reopened—54 new schools. In the fall, a new elementary school will open in Silver Spring as part of the Downcounty Consortium.

MCPS is also committed to minimizing the environmental impact of its buildings by incorporating best practices from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). In 2006, Great Seneca Creek Elementary School became the first Maryland public school to be LEED certified with a “gold” rating through USGBC. Subsequent construction projects have received LEED certification, as well.

All three schools that opened on Wednesday include environmentally friendly features and will seek LEED certification. For instance, all three buildings use a geothermal exchange system for heating and cooling and two of the schools have a green “vegetative” roof.

Modernization projects are just one part of the MCPS Capital Improvements Program, which also includes classroom additions; infrastructure improvements and maintenance; Americans with Disabilities Act compliance; and new construction. In November, the Board of Education submitted a $1.49 billion six-year Capital Improvements Program request to the County Executive and the County Council.


Cannon Road Elementary School
-  New Building Size: 83,377 square feet
-  Project cost: $18.474 million
-  Initial Capacity: 456 students
-  Current enrollment: 395 students

Garrett Park Elementary School
-  Total Building Size: 96,348 square feet (includes 12,860 square feet from 2006 addition)
-  Project Cost: $18.887 million (includes a four classroom addition added after construction began to address future enrollment growth)
-  Capacity: 754 students
-  Current enrollment: 563 students

Seven Locks Elementary School
-  Total Building Size: 66,915 square feet
-  Project Cost: $15.229 million
-  Initial capacity: 424 students
-  Current enrollment: 321 students

More information on Bradley Hills, Grenallan and Weller Road projects

Board of Education's 2013-2018 Capital Improvements Program request

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