Gaithersburg Leaders to Tour School in Laurel to Learn About Construction Costs


Gaithersburg City Councilmember Neil Harris

Monday may be the first day of school in Montgomery County but it is also the day several Gaithersburg city officials, and at least one Board of Education member, are touring a school in Laurel at the suggestion of a state senator.

Gaithersburg City Council member Neil Harris said local officials were told that the school cost significantly less to build for the same number of students as a school here.

“So we are going to take a look,” said Harris.

The school the officials will be touring is Monarch Global Academy in Laurel.

Harris said local leaders learned about the school from State Senator Jim Rosapepe, who represents the 21st District.

According to Harris, the tour and meeting tomorrow is an open public meeting because a quorum of the Gaithersburg City Council will be attending. Harris said he will be joined by Gaithersburg Mayor Jud Ashman and Councilmembers Michael Sesma and Rob Wu on the tour. Harris said two city planning staffers are also expected to attend.

Montgomery County Board of Education member Rebecca Smondrowski confirms she is also planning to attend.

A meeting notice on the city of Gaithersburg website says the tour will show an example of school construction where costs were roughly one third of what the Montgomery County Public Schools district is currently paying to construct similar-sized schools.

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Sonya Burke

About Sonya Burke

Sonya Burke is the Multimedia Manager at Montgomery Community Media (MCM). You can email story ideas at or reach her on Twitter @SonyaNBurke.


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