Superintendent Jack Smith featured

MCPS Superintendent Releases FY 2018 Capital Budget and CIP Amendments

Superintendent Jack Smith featuredMontgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Superintendent Jack Smith is recommending adjustments to the 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, according to a news release.

Smith submitted his  Recommended FY 2018 Capital Budget and Amendments to the FY 2017–2022 Capital Improvements Program  on Oct. 27 to the Board of Education. The budget maintains the level of funding for the six years that was approved in the adopted CIP. The Montgomery County Council’s adopted FY 2017 Capital Budget and FY 2017–2022 CIP for MCPS totaled $1.729 billion, the news release stated.

“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,” 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, ” he said.

According to MCPS, the county school system is experiencing its ninth straight year of significant enrollment growth and preliminary enrollment for this school year is 159,242, an increase of 21,497 students since 2007. By 2022, officials expect enrollment to reach 168,480 students.

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, in order to address growth.  Other adopted plans include construction funds for 14 elementary school revitalization/expansion projects, along with four middle school and four high school revitalization/expansion projects.

Smith’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 Smith’s amendments and recommendations during a work session on Nov. 3rd. The Board will hold public hearings on Nov. 10th and Nov. 14th on the CIP amendments and recommendations. Both hearings will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held at the Carver Educational Services Center.

The Board is expected to approve a CIP amendment request on Nov. 21st. 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.

Maureen Chowdhury

About Maureen Chowdhury

Maureen Chowdhury is a multimedia journalist with Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at mchowdhury@mymcmedia.org and on Twitter at @MediaMaureen. Maureen authors the blog Sound Check on MyMCMedia.

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