My friends are adamant. They tell me that we need a holding school in the upcounty. From what I’ve heard, that’s the only way our elementary schools are going to get badly needed repair. And our upcounty schools definitely need repair.
However, according to the county’s own planning documents, the proposed Waring Station site is too small to be used for a holding school.
Official property records from the Maryland Department of Assessments & Taxation show the proposed Waring Station holding school site as 9.9 total acres in size. According to the 1989 Germantown Master Plan, the planning document that is still in effect for this area:
“The 10-acre elementary school sites acquired for the smaller schools [400-500 students] cannot easily accommodate the larger facilities [intended to serve student populations of 690-740 students]. This plan, therefore, recommends that the size of future elementary school sites should be a minimum of 10 usable acres (or, generally, 12 total acres). Further, new school sites should not be constrained by unusual topographic features and they should generally be level to facilitate the development of larger school buildings and ballfields.”
James Song, Director of Facilities for the school system, has been quoted as saying that the new upcounty holding school will accommodate up to 740 students. If we build this school too small – a guarantee given the facts – the kids are going to wind up in portables. Again. We need to find a larger, more suitable location for a holding school that won’t be so costly to design.
Why are we wasting $44,560 on a feasibility study to place a school at the Waring Station site? We need money to repair our upcounty schools, not waste time on a project that is obviously not feasible.
Let’s put the county’s funds to good use. Seneca Valley High School, one example among many, is badly in need of repair.
[Updated 3/9/2011: Changed the reported property acreage from “9.9 or 10.1” to the official acreage of site as listed by the Maryland Department of Assessments & Taxation.]