Friday, March 14, 2014

Starr Doesn't Need Empty Middle School

Here's an entire MCPS middle school that sits empty.  
Could it be used to get current students out of classroom trailers? 

Superintendent Joshua Starr has told County Executive Ike Leggett that the classrooms aren't needed and won't be needed for at least the next 6 years, and so Montgomery County can use the building.

Should the Board of Education have discussed this decision, or can Superintendent Starr simply declare an entire middle school building useless to the needs of current public school students?      


  1. I don't know that another middle school is needed in that part of Rockville, but there are certainly plenty of Rockville cluster elementary schools with portables that could use some relief. It's not *that* far from, say, Barnsley Elementary:

    I don't think it's realistic to think that this site will help reduce overcrowding in Bethesda, though.

    1. That's a pretty elitist view. How many counties in the State of Maryland have empty school buildings? None? How many counties in the State of Maryland can just say they can afford to waste the investment of taxpayers in a public school?
      THIS is why Montgomery County doesn't get back the tax dollars they put into Maryland. Montgomery County is seen as incredibly wealthy by the rest of the State. Imagine the luxury of just tossing away an entire public middle school building.
      Could this building help reduce overcrowding? OF COURSE! It's called PLANNING and it is done by a Board of Education that values resources and doesn't waste assets. We don't have that in Montgomery County. Instead, we have people that think entire middle school buildings are disposable and that it is impossible to use that building in any way for public school children.

    2. By the way, when a public school building in MCPS houses a MAGNET kids ride buses from ALL over the county to get there! What a fantasy to pretend an empty MCPS middle school could not be used. Open it up and they will come!

    3. So it's that easy to "open it up and they will come." Broome hasn't been used as a school in a LONG time. Have you ever set foot in that building? It needs a complete overhaul to make it a 21st Century school. Next would come boundary changes. So yea, real easy in your fantasy world!

    4. It's easier to find LAND and build an entirely new building in Montgomery County? You work for which school construction firm? We know that the school construction firms wants more $$$! That's clear.

      Yes, I have been in Broome recently. It's a school building. Renovate it and open it up. Talk about ideas of how to use the school in PUBLIC at the Board of Education table WITH public input. (Gasp!)

      What sort of building snob are you that buildings are useless when they are a few years old? That's the attitude that the rest of Maryland gets from Montgomery County.

      Here's a thought. Turn Broome into a STEM Middle School. Parents would be tripping over themselves to fill out applications and get their kids in from all over the county. What other ideas are out there to make use of an ENTIRE MIDDLE SCHOOL? Let's have a discussion. Let's have elected leaders that VALUE buildings already paid for by taxpayers instead of trashing them.

      Oh, and this isn't the only EMPTY MIDDLE SCHOOL space! A whole WING of Sligo Middle School has been given away to a private business.

      Again, EMPTY, UNUSED MCPS classrooms at the same time when MCPS is claiming overcrowding.

      Fantasy is assuming that every time a building needs plumbing work the entire building must be torn down, leveled, trees cleared and rebuilt from scratch. Is that how people maintain their homes? Sink leaks? Tear down the house! That's exactly how MCPS has been treating public school buildings. Who does that serve? The construction companies.

      Do other Counties in Maryland have the luxury of simply discarding school buildings? Please name one besides Montgomery where that happens.

    5. A few years old? Since when is a school building built 57 years ago and closed for educational use for 33 years a "few years old?"

      BTW, I was not advocating finding land and building an entirely new building nor do I work for a school construction firm. I love it how you assume things about people who point out some of the more ridiculous things you post, such as "open it and they will come." You make it seem like renovating a 57 year old building will be a snap. Reality begs to differ!

    6. Never said the word snap. Your words. Please explain how you have decided - without ANY public process - that this entire public school building should be left to waste away. Go ahead. Is that your "easy" answer? No planning. No discussion. No budget discussion.

      Is it any surprise that the State is not falling all over itself to throw more public school construction dollars at MCPS when they WASTE what they have already been given?

      Your attitude that a 57 year old building is not worth renovating says a lot.

    7. By the way, MCPS has been building new schools without even WAITING for State approval for YEARS! MCPS hasn't needed or cared about State money for construction. They just build.

      Building new schools is the name of the game. That's in the best interest of the construction companies and their many, many subs that have NO BID "deals" with MCPS. Heck, some of these companies don't even have contracts. They just get massive checks from MCPS with no parameters on what services are to be performed.

    8. How is my view elitist? Seeing a building not occupied by MCPS in the same cluster and a couple miles away from an elementary school that has a herd of portables out back is elitist? Or thinking it'd be a logistical nightmare to use a Rockville building to reduce Bethesda overcrowding?

      And I have been in Broome in the past 10 or so years, too, and it is OLD, old enough that'd likely need to be pretty much gutted to bring it up to standard; it'd almost be equally cost-effective (from the non-professional perspective of a community member who's also an educator) to knock it down and build an entirely new building. It'd be interesting to have it appraised for such a purpose at any rate. How much would it cost to bring it up to current code, let alone make it practical for MCPS use? Maryvale used to be a junior high school, and the renovations that were made to turn it into an elementary school have left HUGE lab tables in what are now first-grade classrooms, and unwieldy storage and counters in early grade classrooms as well. Additionally, it might be interesting to ask what would happen to the community functions the Broome building now serves? Where would they go?

      Finally, a magnet middle school drawing from around the county would be statistically likely to draw no more than a handful of students from overcrowded schools, not enough to relieve overcrowding there. It's not a bad idea, mind you, even in this school system which, shockingly, has not been able to approve a STEM charter school (and a STEM magnet would be cool too IMO).

    9. What "statistics" are you citing? None. Just your guess. Again, planning by guessing. As long as you have millions of tax dollars to waste, I guess Maryland taxpayers don't care if planning is done by guesses?????

      Your point about Maryvale only goes to continue the evidence of poor or non-existent planning on the part of the BOE. Buildings don't become unsuitable by themselves! That's the result of poor decisions by MCPS' crack staff.

    10. I have never claimed to be citing any statistics, and I stated up front that it was my guess, so yeah, I guess you got me there. I have said it would be interesting to actually have someone work the numbers. I'm not a fan of having my words misquoted and twisted.

      And for the life of me I still cannot see how my first post was remotely elitist.

      And the poor decisions by that crack staff were made by the crack staff what, 20 years ago, maybe more? Does anyone have the definitive answer as to when Maryvale last underwent significant renovation? Are any of those people even still employed by MCPS now?

    11. Larry Bowers has been in charge of MCPS for decades! So YES the same person making these decisions is still in charge at MCPS. Same person, same bad decisions, same lack of public process.

      Maryvale could have been fixed any year, at any time.

  2. Let's see...another idea...a Charter School. Oh, no one would apply to that either...right.

  3. My understanding is that CRC is being moved to Broome to make way for the construction of another Rockville elementary school in the Richard Montgomery cluster:

    So the move is designed to address overcrowding in Rockville's elementary schools. It's not as direct as, say, just placing students directly into Broome classrooms, but I agree with the previous poster--I've seen Broome, and it would need substantial rehabilitation to house an entire school's worth of students.

  4. You are missing about 3 or 4 other moves in this game. Yes, CRC is being moved out of its current location to make way for the re-opening of the site as a MCPS elementary school.
    Up until a few days ago, CRC was going to get its own building in the woods at the Broome Middle School site. The Broome building was being emptied of its current tenants because MCPS was going to re-open it as a Holding School. Without any public process, Superintendent Starr cancelled the Holding School plan and decided the almost empty middle school would not be needed for MCPS during the next 6 years. County Executive Ike Leggett then decided to just move CRC in to the Broome building rather than build an entirely new building on the site.

    Again, renovation of a building is what? Illegal? All buildings need maintenance and from time to time renovation. That's reality. That's not a reason to discard an entire building. But, if you think it is, please make that case to the rest of the State of Maryland, because it is the taxpayers that have already built Broome and it is their investment that is being wasted.

  5. Laura Berthiaume cited a facility problem at Maryvale as one of her reasons for running for BOE. But she never could fight the powers that be at MCPS. And now they want to co locate Sandburg over there? And do what with that building? To see what a fiasco co location has been, go count the trailers at Matsunaga. And yeah, the guy responsible for that planning fiasco is still employed.

    1. Lyda--How long has the Longview School been co-located at Matsunaga?

  6. I think the greater point Janis is making isn't so much WHAT is the right thing to do with Broome, or any other site, but rather the fact that the Board has once again rammed through what they WANT to do versus a public discussion. Maybe in the end it wouldn't be worth the cost to renovate it, or house other MCPS assets, but that's just it. There is no discussion, and they know best, and to heck with anyone else's opinion. The public just slows down what they'd rather just get done quickly and not have to justify their actions. After all the public is stupid and they are smarter than everyone else. Plus they know they can by-pass the process since they know no one pays attention to local politics nor is anyone going to do anything about it. In my opinion 80% of the people that vote have no idea who these people are or stand for anyway.

  7. More empty space...

    County Moves To Eliminate Office Vacancies With Rental Assistance

    1. reduce county deficit -- build more office buildings to
      encourage companies to move here at our expense
      (MOCO Logic 101)


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