A rendering of the new DuFief Elementary School in Gaithersburg. Credit: via MCPS

The Montgomery County Board of Education has approved a $30 million project to rebuild DuFief Elementary School in Gaithersburg.

The project will increase the facility’s capacity from about 430 students to 750 students, according to project documents. This year, DuFief has an enrollment of about 315 students.

The new school will sit in the “approximate location of the existing building with a significant reduction in the building’s footprint,” according to project documents. A bus loop will be west of the school.

The two-story building is designed to separate classrooms from more communal areas of the building, like the gymnasium and cafeteria. Classrooms will be on the first and second floors, arranged around a courtyard.

There will be 124 parking spaces.

If possible, the school district hopes to put solar panels on the roof, according to Seth Adams, director of the MCPS Department of Facilities Management.


DuFief was built in 1975 and has not undergone an expansion or upgrade since, according to school district documents.

A boundary study will be completed as part of the project to reassign some students from Rachel Carson Elementary School — expected to soon be nearly 100 students over capacity — to DuFief. The boundary study will begin in the spring, with final action scheduled for March 2021.

During construction, which is scheduled to begin in spring 2021, DuFief students will attend classes at a nearby “holding school,” Adams said.


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