The Montgomery County school board on Monday gave its OK to plans for a major building project at Northwood High School that will make room for approximately 1,200 more students.
The project, estimated to cost approximately $138 million, includes tearing down the existing school and rebuilding it on the same site. Northwood was built in 1956.
By increasing the school’s capacity to approximately 2,700 students, the project aims to alleviate crowding at several nearby schools. Northwood will be about 600 students overenrolled in six years, according to MCPS enrollment projections.
“I can’t contain my excitement about how thrilled I am about this project,” Northwood Principal Mildred Charley-Greene told the school board this week. “… I will be very frank. For some in our community, they didn’t think this day would come.”
Situated around a courtyard, the four-story school will be approximately 400,000 square feet on University Boulevard in Silver Spring. It will have an athletic stadium, a baseball field and softball field, and tennis courts. The school will have a prominent performing arts center, a TV studio, dozens of classrooms and labs.
“This truly is one of the more exciting projects,” MCPS Director of Facilities Management Seth Adams said. “To be able to work with the principal and staff of Northwood … and for folks to know what they want and what the spaces should look like for the future of education has been a really exciting process. We’re going to end up with a really great school.”
In March, the school board voted to relocate Northwood students to the former Charles W. Woodward High School, about 9 miles away, during construction. Construction is expected to begin in 2023 and the project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2025.
When the Northwood project is completed, Woodward will undergo a renovation project of its own, then reopen as a new high school.
Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org