2016 | Schools

Planning Board to Review 14-Classroom Addition Project At Kensington-Parkwood Elementary

School system hopes to start construction on project at overcrowded school this year

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Existing Kensington-Parkwood Elementary School site (left) and site with proposed addition (right) via Planning Department

The Montgomery County Planning Board on Thursday will review plans for a 14-classroom addition to overcrowded Kensington-Parkwood Elementary School.

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) hopes to start construction on the project later this year and open the new classrooms in August 2018.

Planning Department staff were generally favorable of the addition plans and recommended the Planning Board, in its advisory role on school construction projects, ask MCPS for minor additions such as bike racks and widening nearby sidewalks by one foot.

The addition and other projects in MCPS Interim Superintendent Larry Bowers’ $1.72 billion request could face budgeting challenges.

On Friday, County Executive Ike Leggett recommended $1.57 billion in construction funding for MCPS over the next six years, a less-than-desired amount Bowers and Board of Education President Michael Durso said could mean “significant delays in numerous projects.”

The County Council is expected to approve the county’s final six-year capital budget in May.

Kensington-Parkwood, the school at 4710 Saul Road that’s part of the Walter Johnson High School cluster, is no stranger to addition projects or overcrowding.

The original 1952 school building underwent a renovation and expansion in 2006 that bumped up its capacity to 472 students in a 77,000-square-foot building.

There are 643 students enrolled in the school this year and seven portable classrooms located along the side of the building that faces Saul Road.

The approximately 25,000-square-foot, two-floor addition planned by MCPS would add 14 classrooms and teacher support spaces, and expand the existing multi-purpose room. It would increase the core capacity of the school serving kindergarten through fifth grade to 746 students, eliminating the need for the seven portable classrooms.

It would be built on the south end of the site on a hilly area directly in front of the main entrance and leave room for a small courtyard between the addition and existing building.

The addition project would also bring 10 additional parking spaces, increasing the total at the school to 60 spaces.