Woodward High School Credit: Photo via MCPS

The Montgomery school board plans to funnel $125 million into renovating the former Charles W. Woodward High School in Rockville and on Monday appointed a Calverton architectural firm to lead the design process.

Grimm and Parker Architecture Inc. was selected as the “most qualified firm to provide the necessary … services,” according to school board documents. The board will pay Grimm and Parker about $6.2 million for its services.

The school board members did not discuss the matter during Monday’s meeting, as the item was part of the board’s consent agenda, which is generally approved without discussion.

Known as a holding school, Woodward is next scheduled to house students from Northwood High School in Silver Spring, which is slated for a $123 million expansion to begin in 2023, and students will be moved off-site during construction.

Grimm and Parker has experience working with the school system, leading projects at Wheaton High, Hallie Wells Middle, Lakelands Park Middle, Flora M. Singer Elementary and Wilson Wims Elementary.

The firm will provide leadership on a project Superintendent Jack Smith last month said could transform the facility into the first countywide, secondary-level arts magnet program. What the program would include and its capacity has yet to be determined, but a school system spokesperson said it would not be a whole-school magnet.


The school system has a middle school arts magnet program at A. Mario Loiederman Middle School in Silver Spring, but there is no equivalent at the high school level.

Smith said the school system is in the process of convening a committee, chaired by Eliot Pfanstiehl, former chief executive officer of the Strathmore performing arts center in North Bethesda, to iron out the details of the program.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com