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Votes

Modernizing Potomac Elementary

Plans underway for new school building, last to be modernized in Churchill cluster.

Potomac Elementary School will have a new building by January 2018, without delay.

“That’s just not an option in this county. It will get done,” said Craig Shuman, director of construction for Montgomery County Public Schools.

Montgomery County Public Schools and Moseley Architects held six worksessions this winter and spring to elicit feedback from the public and school community.

The final presentation to Principal Dr. Linda Goldberg and the Potomac PTA and community was held Wednesday, May 15, at the school.

The top three proposals all are located at the current site on River Road.

“The preferred option is a preference for good reason and the board takes that into consideration,” said Jim Tokar, project manager.

The school system and Moseley were asked to look at the feasibility of moving Potomac Elementary to Brickyard Road, but Moseley and the school system ranked that choice at the bottom, fourth of four options, after gathering public input.

Due process says you look at all options, said Julie Morris, a long-term planner with the school system.

“That’s exactly what we are doing,” said Tokar, who said he could recall only once when the Board of Education decided to go against the recommended preferred option.

Approximately 25 people attended the meeting.

CAPACITY AT POTOMAC Elementary is 424, with current enrollment at 496, according to MCPS documents. The school has portable classrooms to accommodate its needs.

Enrollment is projected to reduce to 477 next year and 463 in 2014-15. Enrollment is projected to be 475 when the new building is opened in January 2018.

The new building is anticipated to have a capacity of 640, according to the architects.

While the current preferred option shows only one entrance to the school from River Road, architects hope State Highway will approve two entrances, one to be used for car queues and the other for buses, to maximize safety.

If the Board of Education chooses to remodel Potomac Elementary on site, students will attend school at the Radnor Holding Center on Radnor Road in Bethesda during construction.

Preliminary designs are available at the school web site.

Montgomery County Public Schools will next conduct a cost study, which should be completed by the fall before moving forward.

POTOMAC IS THE LAST school to be modernized in the Winston Churchill High School cluster, according to CIP documents.

Herbert Hoover Middle School is scheduled to be completed this August.

Beverly Farms Elementary was completed in January 2013.

Wayside Elementary School is scheduled to be completed in August of 2016.