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Montgomery Council Committees to Discuss MCPS School Site Selection Process on Monday, July 25:
  • Release ID: 11-172
  • Release Date: 7/22/2011
  • Contact: Neil Greenberger 240-777-7939 or Delphine Harriston240-777-7931
  • From: Council Office
ROCKVILLE, Md., July 22, 2011—The Montgomery County Council’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee and its Education Committee will meet jointly at 2 p.m. on Monday, July 25, to discuss the process Montgomery County Public Schools uses to select sites for new schools. During 2011, there have been site selection proceedings for three planned new schools, including a middle school for the Bethesda-Chevy Chase area that has generated some controversy.

The PHED Committee, which is chaired by Councilmember Nancy Floreen and includes Councilmembers Marc Elrich, and the Education Committee, which is chaired by Councilmember Valerie Ervin and includes Councilmembers Phil Andrews and Craig Rice, will meet in the Third Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. The meeting will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM—Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon) and also will be available via streaming through the County Web site at www.montgomerycountymd.gov.

The County Council does not have a formal role in the school site selection process. However, the Council is involved with regard to approving requests from the Board of Education for appropriations for site acquisition subsequent to a site selection. The Council also decides whether to ultimately approve the funding for the resulting capital project. 

In 2011, MCPS has been working to select sites for the additional middle school in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase area, an elementary school for the Northwest High cluster area and an upcounty elementary school holding facility.

The site selection process for the new Bethesda-Chevy Chase middle school started with the Site Selection Advisory Committee identifying 10 possible sites, six of which were local parks. That raised the concerns of the Montgomery County Department of Park and the County Planning Board, each of which cited the lack of park space currently available in the downcounty area. The committee’s first recommendation to place the school at the current Rosemary Hills-Lyttonsville Local Park site was not supported by the Planning Board. The Board of Education ultimately chose Rock Creek Hills Local Bar, which once was home to the former Kensington Junior High School.

Board of Education President Christopher Barclay and Planning Board Chair Francoise Carrier are among those expected to participate in the discussion.

At 9:30 a.m. in the Seventh Floor Council Hearing Room, the PHED Committee is scheduled to hold worksessions on a number of economic development related issues.

The Department of Economic Development will provide an update on its plans to market the County to potential new businesses. In the Fiscal Year 2012 operating budget, the Council adopted a proposal by Councilmember Floreen to add $350,000 to the department’s marketing efforts.

The committee also will hear an analysis of the County’s incubator program that helps start-up businesses get established.

Another issue the committee will discuss is the Montgomery biotech tax credit program, which the Council approved to supplement the state tax credit program. However, the County has not appropriated any money to fund the program. Councilmember George Leventhal has said the County should either fund the program or officially repeal or delay it so businesses would not get the impression they could benefit from the program.
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Last edited: 1/15/2016  

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