Montgomery County Public Schools Board of Education members unanimously approved plans for a new Burnt Mills Elementary School and a renovated Poolesville High School. Together, the projects will cost close to $100 million.
During the BOE’s Jan. 28 meeting, board members listened to details about the proposed work which includes completely tearing down and building a new Burnt Mills Elementary School in Silver Spring at a cost of about $34 million. Those plans include separating where students get on and off the bus from the parking lot and student drop off area.
The first floor will house the administration area, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and special education areas, the cafeteria and kitchen, art spaces, gym and additional classrooms, explained Seth Adams, MCPS director of facilities management. The second floor would house the media center and more classrooms.
Rendering of proposed Burnt Mills Elementary School
Work is expected to be completed in 2023. In about a year, students are expected to be schooled at the Fairland Center so their current school can be leveled and the new one completed.
Following the BOE’s vote, Burnt Mills Principal Stacy Ashton exclaimed, “We are beyond excited about our new school project. My heart is happy.”
The elementary school was built in 1964 and renovated in 1990. According to school records, its 600-member student body includes 20% English as a Second Language speakers and 63% students who receive free and reduced meals.
Parts of Poolesville High School will be renovated, and the entire school will be attached into one complex that will include the current science annex. The $60.2 million project does not include additions or additional bleachers at the gym, which many in the community had hoped.
Rendering of proposed Poolesville High School
“This is an exciting moment for me, our students, our school, our staff, our communities, past, present and future,” said Principal Mark Carothers.
Plans call for separate pods for each of the four magnet areas that Poolesville has, but those pods will all be connected for a total school feel. The first level of the two-story school will include renovations and additions to the auditorium.
Work is expected to be completed in 2024. Students will remain at the current school throughout the work. However, some classes will be moved to portable classrooms to accommodate the renovations, Adams said.
“We have a really good plan. It meets the academic needs. It meets the athletic needs,” he said. He explained that additional space for additional bleachers in the gym was not included in the plans as MCPS had not allocated enough money to do so.
Poolesville High School was built in 1953 and renovated in 1978.