A building project originally aiming to add nearly 400 seats at Silver Spring International Middle School and Sligo Creek Elementary School has been significantly scaled back. It now focuses primarily on moving the middle school gyms into the main building and creating a more secure entrance.
The project was originally estimated to cost around $28 million and would likely have required students at both schools to move off site during construction.
Crews were planning to demolish the front section of Silver Spring International, which includes an auditorium, administrative offices and classrooms. They would build a three-story addition with administration and health offices, a physical education complex, science classrooms and a multipurpose room.
The plan also included new classroom space for the elementary school.
But in a presentation to the school board on Tuesday, MCPS staff members showed a smaller-scale project that adds space for only about 90 middle school students. The new goal is to enhance security by creating a new entrance and bringing the gym spaces — currently in a separate structure from the main building — inside.
In November, the school board approved the reduction in the project’s scope,. It also reallocated $16 million from the project to an addition at Highland View Elementary School in Silver Spring.
MCPS Director of Learning, Achievement and Administration Jennifer Webster said during Tuesday’s meeting that district leaders believe the project will still alleviate “bottlenecking” problems that happen when students need to enter and exit the building to go to the gyms. It will also provide necessary safety improvements, she said, as well as add dedicated space for the Linkages to Learning program that provides access to basic health resources.
Limited classroom space will be added in the science wing.
The Silver Spring International Middle School project is expected to break ground next year and be completed in 2024.
Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org