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MCPS Capital Spending Includes Revitalizing Seneca Valley, New Elementary School in Clarksburg, and

Interim Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Larry A. Bowers' $1.72 billion six-year school Capital Improvement Plan, which was presented to the media and public at Seneca Valley High School in Germantown because the school symbolizes the district’s need to update and expand existing buildings, includes the revitalization of Seneca Valley, along with continuing planned additions to Christie McAuliffe Elementary School, the construction of a new elementary school in Clarksburg. The plan pushes back the construction of the new Northwest Cluster Elementary School No. 8 for one year.

The $1.72 billion six-year school construction plan for Montgomery County Public Schools, which includes several new projects that will add much-needed classroom space for the district. The Superintendent’s Recommended Fiscal Year (FY) 2017–2022 Capital Improvements Program represents a $172 million increase over the current six-year CIP, which is needed to deal with the district’s rapid enrollment growth.

Bowers’ recommended CIP includes 10 new classroom addition projects—six in elementary schools and four in secondary schools — and a new elementary school in the Clarksburg cluster. The CIP recommendation also maintains the timeline for many projects that are already approved in the current CIP. Bowers also is recommending a significant investment in the district’s infrastructure needs, including increased funding for the replacement of aging heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units across the district.

If all the projects in the recommended CIP are built on time, 12,249 seats would be added across the district by the 2021–2022 school year.

“It is very appropriate that we are at Seneca Valley,” said Board of Education President Patricia O’Neill, “because it epitomizes the needs here in Montgomery County and the future growth the new Seneca Valley will help to take care of.”

For the past two years, the Board of Education and the County Council have lobbied for additional state revenue that could be used to accelerate the timeline on many shovel-ready projects. While those efforts have not been successful, Bowers said that state and local leaders know that there are significant capital needs in MCPS, Maryland’s largest and fastest-growing school district.