Plans for Expanding Ashburton Elementary To Come Up for Review

Plans for Expanding Ashburton Elementary To Come Up for Review

Project will increase capacity to 770, but won't eliminate crowding

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A rendering of the addition at Ashburton Elementary School

VIA MONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Montgomery County planners next week will review plans for a $10.2 million addition at Ashburton Elementary School that will relieve—but not eliminate—student overcrowding. 

The proposal to increase the Bethesda school’s capacity from 651 to 770 involves building an eight-classroom addition, expanding the multipurpose room and installing a modular building that will provide another eight classrooms. Montgomery County Public Schools also is planning to move four preschool special education classes from the school to other locations, freeing up an additional 26 student seats, according to a planning report.

Still, even after the project’s anticipated completion in August 2019, the school on Lone Oak Drive will not be large enough to hold the roughly 960 students expected to attend that school year.

A staff report posted online ahead of the Montgomery County Planning Board’s Feb. 15 meeting states that the modular classrooms will “accommodate the additional students until a new elementary school can be constructed in the cluster.”

The modular building, which connects with the main school building, is at least preferable to the eight portables currently housing students, the staff report said.

Ashburton was constructed in 1957 and has been expanded five times since then, with the most recent project in 2008 adding about 16,000 square feet. The roughly 81,400-square-foot school will gain another 11,485 square feet through the current addition project, according to a recent presentation to the Montgomery County Board of Education.

Bethany Rodgers can be reached at bethany.rodgers@bethesdamagazine.com.

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