Thursday, January 31, 2019

Super Size Me!

Work required at the gigantic mega-school on Tilden Lane and Marcliff, Tilden Middle School and Rock Terrace. MCPS and the Board of Education can't build 'em big enough! No neighborhood schools for you!


  1. Undoubtably that will be a violation of the Montgomery County Noise Ordinace. The Noise Ordinance calls for quiet hours until 9 AM on weekends.

  2. And if they built a too-small building that required portables next year you'd no doubt be complaining about the lack of foresight to build a large-enough facility...

    1. Good job! You get it that poor planning, lack of planning or no planning has consequences. There are actually people called PLANNERS who KNOW how to PLAN. Shocking but true. We don't have any of those people in Montgomery County, but they do exist in the world. There is no excuse for the horrendous decisions made by the Board of Education regarding school capacity. They have a huge inventory of unused school buildings, they have completely empty buildings and classrooms, and yet they can't figure out how to put every child in a classroom and build neighborhood schools. The Policy FAA drafted back in the 1980's laid out a perfect plan, but the recent Board of Education- Apple Ballot endorsed members - gutted that Policy so that chaos could reign.

    2. Why build too small? We have a population planner at MCPS; we have an entire Department of Planning with hundreds of employees. All they are supposed to do is PLAN. We have large lots around the county sitting empty for decades. Instead we get mega-schools designed by the same firms that design prisons.

    3. College Gardens had portables the year after it opened. Just because there IS a Department of Planning doesn't mean that it's always worked.

      And they ARE building neighborhood schools; Maryvale is one example, it's (finally!) getting rebuilt (years after it was supposed to have been completed, but that's another can of worms), and while it's a magnet school w/ other special programs, it also serves the neighborhood kids (some of whom participate in CAPP, Head Start, Pre-K, and/or French Immersion too). Years ago I subbed in Carl Sandburg; it's an old building and would need renovation regardless; by combining it with the Maryvale building, the whole Holding School Roulette can be avoided and a single building suitable for all the programs of both buildings can be built and maintained for less; it's not the largest elementary school in MCPS by a wide mile, even with the Sandburg colocation.

      I'd like to see some of the unused school buildings returned to school use, but looking at some of them - Broome Middle School, for example, which now houses a number of other functions and would be redundant as a middle school in that cluster and would need considerable updating - I don't see how it would be feasible logistically or prudent financially in every case.

      And yes, where space is tight, schools go UP instead of/as well as OUT. This is routine in urban schools.

      One can apply for exemptions to noise ordinances for short-term issues like this ( ), so I'm thinking that a one-time one-hour-before-9AM issue is more an excuse for yet more outrage. A lot MORE parents are annoyed about Hogan's Labor Day-June 15th mandate; given that there's a bill to overturn it, that might be worth reporting on instead.

  3. Well? Did the world come to a crashing halt over a crane coming in at 8AM on Saturday? Did they apply for an exemption from the noise ordinance (per the link in my last still-unpublished comment)? Were the police called over the noise? Were there people there to make sure the trucks had the required Oversize Load escort vehicles? Was PC's outrage well-placed?

    (And no, I'm not bothering to reformat and email you the last comment that had links in it I'd have to find all over again. Life's too short.)


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