MPS to close, rebuild schools in first phase of Capital Improvement Plan
The Montgomery County Board of Education has voted unanimously to approve Phase 1 of the Capital Improvement Plan which includes closing down two school buildings, including Lanier High School, and rebuilding two others.
The improvements are recommended by the construction management firm, Volkert Inc., who is working with MPS on this Capital Improvement Plan.
Superintendent Dr. Ann Roy Moore said this is crucial for the school system to move forward.
“The facility has to accommodate what it is that you want to do for your students as far as programs go,” Moore said. “Its very difficult in a very old building to accommodate all the programs and the technology we want to accommodate in this era.”
During the rollout of Phase 1, the following changes and upgrades are planned for MPS school buildings:
– Sidney Lanier High School will consolidate with G.W. Carver High School. Lanier students will begin attending Carver once renovations are made to the Carver building. MPS will discontinue the use of the Lanier building on South Court Street.
– Robert E. Lee High School will be rebuilt.
– Capitol Heights Middle School will be rebuilt.
– Wilson Elementary will consolidate with Blount Elementary.
– Baldwin Arts and Academics Magnet students will move to the current Wilson Elementary building once upgrades are made to accommodate the performing arts program. MPS will discontinue the use of the building currently housing Baldwin.
– All elementary schools will be equipped with gymnasiums.
Moore said they understand some parents may be hesitant to support moving their child to a different school, but they are hoping people can see that the good outweighs the bad.
“This is long overdue. If you just drive around the city and look at our schools and the condition of the buildings, its very obvious that this is long overdue. It has to be tackled. We will try to be as diligent in what we do as possible and consider everything we need to about the history of Montgomery, the history of our schools, and what we want to do as far as making it better for our students and for the community.”
The district will move forward with other phases of the plan in the coming years. One of the next steps in this phase is to hire architects for the needed construction and renovation projects. They will also be determining timelines and other related project milestones. Dr. Moore estimates the plans could overall take about 4 to 6 years to complete.