County Council Approves Budgets, Some School Renovations Delayed

The Montgomery County Council voted unanimously to approve the FY 2021 Operating Budget and the FY 2021-26 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) at a virtual meeting Thursday. 

Burnt Mills Elementary School is on track for renovations to be complete in September 2023. Elementary school renovations that have been pushed back due to financial shortfalls include South Lake, Woodlin, and Stonegate elementary schools. Completion dates are approved for one year later than requested by the Montgomery County Board of Education. South Lake and Woodlin are planned to be completed by September 2024 instead of 2023, and Stonegate is planned to be completed January 2025 instead of 2024. 

Neelsville Middle School, Poolesville and Magruder high schools are still on schedule for their construction. Neelsville and Poolesville are scheduled for completion in September 2024, and Magruder in September 2027. 

Secondary schools with delayed construction are Wootton and Damascus high schools. Both are now planned to be completed one year after the school board requested, with Damascus scheduled for completion by September 2026 and Wootton by September 2027. 

The operating budget is $5.8 billion and the CIP is $4.4 billion. 

Councilmember Craig Rice said he spoke with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith on Monday. Rice said the council intends to revisit the CIP in August or September when economic and health conditions improve and more financial and projection information is available. He emphasized his support for school projects like South Lake Elementary School, which is a high priority project for both capacity and renovation according to the county. 

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