MCPS Will Recommend Middle School Sites Wednesday
The meeting is the last on the schedule before the superintendent weighs in.
Montgomery County Public Schools' site-selection committee will meet again tonight to discuss where to put a new middle school for the Bethesda-Chevy Chase cluster.
The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.
Members of the committee will grade each site according to a list of criteria at Wednesday's meeting, inputting their scores into a spreadsheet that MCPS will use to rank the properties.
The group's preferred sites will be sent to Superintendent Joshua Starr, who will submit a recommendation of his own to the Board of Education next month.
At its last meeting, the committee narrowed down the list of sites to two public and three private parcels. Rock Creek Hills Park and North Chevy Chase Park are the remaining public sites, and the private options are discussed in closed session.
MCPS has a reclamation right on Rock Creek Hills, allowing it to claim the propery if it needs to build a school. School officials have said they are no longer concerned with a legal issue that could have stopped MCPS from retaking the park.
MCPS does not have a right of reclamation on North Chevy Chase Park, however, and if the site is chosen, the schools would need to convince the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission to give up the parcel.
The Planning Board, on the other hand, has long maintained that siting a school is not a worthy reason to do away with park land, and planning representatives have said that the board would have final approval on any future site's forest conservation plan.
Starr has said all along that MCPS needs to open the new school by 2017 in order to deal with overcrowding at Westland Middle School and counteract the district's projected enrollment growth.