Monday, February 16, 2015

County to do new feasibility study on Blair Ewing Center

...“The fact of the matter is English Manor is not going to be a new school, it’s going to have to be completely remodeled and I have not seen the feasibility study under this new program for example to understand clearly what would happen,” Navarro said. “For me it’s not about ‘we don’t want to give our students the best possible facility.’ For me, it’s about ‘have we done the feasibility study that we need to do under this new direction of this new program? Do we have enough data to know that the program is going to actually work?’” ...

...The future of the Ewing Center is further complicated by plans to relocate the Shady Grove bus depots on Crabbs Branch Way to the current Ewing Center site on Avery Road. MCPS has to vacate the bus depots by January 2017 to make way for county redevelopment.
Some who live near the Ewing Center said they much prefer the school to be there rather than hundreds of buses turning out onto Avery Road.
“I’m concerned about safety. Avery Road is a two lane winding country road with no shoulders, absolutely none, and when I encounter a school bus now I have to virtually come to a stop,” said resident Brenda Vaughan at the rally before the committee meeting. “I can’t fathom the amount of traffic.”
The community has also voiced concerns because the bus depot currently fits 410 buses onto 35 acres and is already a little too small, according to Song. Song said MCPS would design efficiently to try to fit 370 buses on the 22.5 acre Ewing Center site, more than six acres of which is protected by a conservation easement. Also on the site is the Mark Twain Athletic Fields, which the city of Rockville maintains and uses outside of school hours.
Committee Chair Craig Rice (D-2) said he views the bus depot and the Ewing Center relocations as two separate issues. Councilmembers Navarro and Marc Elrich (D-At large) said the two are intertwined.
“We can’t not know what we know,” Elrich said...

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