Thursday, February 10, 2011

Modernization Phase I 2012-2013, 2013-2014

Well lets get down to business, I've laid plans for three holding Schools and by fall of 2012 they will be ready to hold the populations of Schools in Columbia going through modernizations by 2020. The cost high: very high, The aim: even higher, to give every School in Columbia a new or as good as new Building to accomodate growth in Columbia and get Columbia's Schools on par with newer parts of Howard County that have brand new Schools. It will be a very tight schedule as the scope per modernization will be one year per School. Now lets get down to Business! Remember, I'm calling for a lot of residential and commercial redevelopment in these School Districts, so why not greet this development with new Schools?
The Clarksville holding facility will host the populations of both Bryant Woods and Running Brook Elementaries. Lets take a look at what their modernizations will intale.
Bryant Woods, Columbia's first Elementary School will be torn down completely, in its place a brand new State of the Art two floor facility will rise in its place.
The Capacity will be 454. To make for a larger parking lot, Bryant Woods Neighborhood Center and Pool will have to be relocated on adjacent Park Land.
This also addresses newer Columbia Neighborhoods and their fancier swimming pools and Neighborhood Centers. In some cases to accommodate the new modernized School, a new modernized Pool might be part of the deal.
Running Brook (my Alma Mater 1989-1995) will also share the Clarksville holding facility during the 2012-2013 School year. Running Brook will not be completely torn down but most of it will be. The Gym will remain (and be enlarged and the current 1st grade, Kindergarten, and PreK wing which I believe to be a 1984 addition will be renovated to make way for a new Cafeteria and Kitchen.
The wing will be enlarged for Running Brook's growing enrollment. Also the "center" of the original Building will stay which currently holds the Media Center, Art Room, Computer Lab, and Front Office and Health Suite. This will be renovated to house the Music Room, Band Room, ESOL Wing, Hispanic Liaison Room, and a new Art Room.
The new Building will contain the pods for grades PreK-5 and a brand new Front Office, Teacher's Lounge, and Health Suite. The second floor will contain the new Media Center and Computer Lab. Capacity will be 534. The "new" parking lot will be engulfed by the new building and will be relocated to the current Neighborhood Center and Pool. The Neighborhood Center and Pool will be relocated at the oddly placed Verizon Building which has no business in the middle of a Residential Neighborhood. This is as in depth as I'll get for a modernization because I was a student here and I still know the lay of the land.
Clarksville is not the only active holding facility for the 2012-2013 School Year. Cradlerock, due to its large size will house three Schools for 2012-2013. All three Elementary Schools in Oakland Mills will be housed here; Stevens Forest, Talbott Springs, and Thunderhill.
Stevens Forest, Columbia's smallest School is growing. Its old Building, which hasn't had a noticeable renovation since its 1972 opening will be torn down completely. It will no longer be hidden in the woods and will be a much larger facility with a Capcity of 454 versus the current 333.
The common areas; Media Center, Gym, Cafeteria, Computer Lab, and Front Office will be larger and more space will be dedicated to the PreK program. No addition was built to accommodate Full Day Kindergarten so more space will dedicated for that. Changing Demogrpahics warrant additional ESOL Space and a Full Time Hispanic Liaison.
The Neighborhood Center and Pool will be spared. However, the Neighborhood Center will be renovated to match the exterior of the new Elementary School.
Talbott Springs will also be razed. It may very well be the fastest growing Shool in the County. In 2006-2007 the population was 426, 2007-2008; 443, 2008-2009; 478, 2009-2010; 495, and this past year (2010-2011) a huge spike; 581! no redistricitng no new development just plain growth. Obviously from a capacity stand point, Talbott Springs is bursting at the seams.
The new Talbott Springs will be at a slightly different location with Basket Ring Road frontage bringing truth to its address.
The new building Capacity will be 688 and will allow for growth in its own District and may have space if other East Columbia Schools become too crowded. The new Talbott Springs won't take from its Neighborhood Center and Pool but both are due for redevelopment.
Thunderhill is projected to continue to experience growth with enrollment blasting past 400 and eventually 500. 528 will be Thunderhill's new capacity. I always thought the location of Thunderhill Elementary was weird being that it's on Mellonbrook Road and not located near the Neighborhood Center and Pool and Thunderhill Road and Log Chain Road.
Well, seeing as I'm proposing to modernize and replace ALL old Schools in Columbia why not change the location of Thunderhill? I mean, when in Rome right? So I'm proposing that Thunderhill Elementary move to where its Ballfields currently are adjacent to the Neighborhood Center and Pool.
Whether the Neighborhood Center and Pool will be redeveloped as part of the School Modernization, is still up in the air. The School's current Mellonbrook Road location will be sold off to developers for some new Single Family Homes known as "Thunder Hill Estates"

The third Holding School will be the Old Elkridge Elementary. The Norbel School will be housed elsewhere during the modernization period. The final modernization of the 2012-2013 School Year will be Waterloo.
Waterloo, though located in Columbia caters to high growth areas in Ellicott City in Elkridge. Waterloo was built in 1964 pre-dating Columbia. Its neighboring Schools are almost all brand new with Waterloo's District being carved up time and time again. The 47 year old building has also been added on to several times as crowding continues to effect it.Waterloo will completely razed and in its place a brand new Waterloo that will be able to house the Community's growth and whose age won't stick out like a sore thumb. The new Waterloo's Capacity will be 728 a good number for Waterloo's current enrollment numbers and if it declines, the School will help neighboring Bellows Spring which is slated to have as many as 1300 students with a capacity of 762.

Now lets start the 2013-2014 School year at Clarksville. Once again a pair of West Columbia Elementary Schools will occupy Clarksville during their modernizations. Which Schools? Longfellow and Swansfield.
Longfellow's enrollment has been climbing for quite some time now and has been added on to a few times. These additions will be spared during the modernization but the original building will be demolished. The additions (built in 1994 and 2008) included a new Gym, new pod, and what will be a new Cafeteria. The new Longfellow will have a renovated Gym, Cafeteria, and Kindergarden wing. What will eventually be a new Cafeteria is also an existing addition.
The new building will contain wings for Grades 1-5 new Art Room, Music Room, Band Room, ESOL Room, PreK, Front Office and Health Suite. This will all be on the first floor. The second floor will contain a new Media Center and Computer Lab. Capacity will be 468. As part of the demolition, a new black top will be added and parking expanded. The Neighborhood Center and Pool will be spared.
Swansfield, also at Clarksville during the 2013-2014 School Year will have its addition spared. It was built in 1984 and also contains the School's Gym. The addition is rather large and will blend very well into the new construction.
New Construction will be on both sides of the existing addition. On the side closer to Little Patuxent Parkway will be the new Art Room, Music Room, Band Room, ESOL, and Hispanic Liaison.
On the side closer to Rock Coast Road, will be Grades 1-5, the new Cafeteria, Front Office, and Health Suite. The existing addition will be renovated and the Gym enlarged. Classrooms will be for Kindergaten and PreK. Upstairs will be the new Media Center and Computer Lab. Due to associated redistricting the new Capacity of the modernized building will be 788.

At Cradlerock, instead of having three Elementary Schools like last year it have one High School; Oakland Mills.
Oakland Mills is the only High School small enough (1100 Students) to fit in just one Holding School. Oakland Mills received an addition in 2003 which will remain a part of the School after its modernization.The original School, built in 1973 will be demilished. The new existing addition will be renovated to stay current with the modernization and will contain standard classrooms.
The new construction will contain a Fine Arts Wing, a new Auditorium, new Cafeteria, new Gym and Auxilary Gym, with other new Phys Ed. rooms, new Media Center, new Computer Labs, new Science Labs, and a new Front Office and Guidance Office. Since Oakland Mills has room to grow, redistricting here will help relieve corwding at neighboring Schools. That's why I gave Oakland Mills an ambitious capacity of 1438.
Meanwhile at the old Elkridge Elementary, Clemens Crossing students will be here eagerly awaiting their brand new building.
The entire School will be rebuilt and will be given Martin Road frontage. The site of the current building will be the new Ballfields. The Neighborhood Center and Pool will be relocated across Quarterstaff Road on a vacant parcel of land.
The new Clemens Crossing will have a Capacity of 688 due to redistricting and climbing enrollment within the current District.
Well that concludes Phase I of the Modernization of old Columbia Schools. During the summer of 2012

Bollman Bridge Elementary, built in 1988 will receive systematic renovations and an addition. Summer 2013 Pointers Run Elementary, built in 1991 will receive systematic renovations but no addition. Stay tuned for future modernization phases!


Spence said...

You can't tear down a School just a School Building. The new Bryant Woods will be the same Bryant Woods with the same Teachers and Students and Parents that have made it Special for 43 years.

william said...

no it won't be, that's like tearing down the white house and saying it'd be the would never be the same

or tearing down the statue of liberty n replacing it with a large sculpture of marilyn monroe and saying it'd be the same since the same tourists n employees would be there :S:S

Spence said...

The point of this blog is to present plans and get people interested that this CAN be done no that it WILL be. This blog does not tolerate bad language so your comment will have to be deleted. You can share your unhappiness with what I post or how I post it but please do it in a G rated manner

Spence said...

William, Bryant Woods Elementary is not the Liberty Bell or the Statue of Liberty it's an Elementary School in Columbia that was built in 1968 and has been dealing with crowding which in the short term redistricting has helped but projections show Bryant Woods's enrollment increasing and redistricting won't work because all other Schools will also be dealing with crowding. Given the School's age it may be a more worth while investment to tear it down and rebuild it.

A said...

I found this blog after googling school redistricting. I agree with many of your plans. My question is, for a current resident of Dickinson, whose children are slated to attend Guilford ES beginning in 2012 - what are our options? The district seems to make no sense, and we are highly concerned about the test scores at Guilford - esp. when Atholton is so much closer to us! Any advice?

Anonymous said...

COLUMBIA NORTHWEST DC, I moved to columbia from Georgia in 2005. since then I've seen the things that make Columbia special slowly fade away. All these new buildings are slowly taking away the parks and walk ways of columbia. Guess I'll be looking to move to DC soon, since thats what Columbia is heading towards.

Spence said...

A, Guilford is a fine school. The only thing that could threaten it would be attentive parents like yourself yanking their children out of their Neighborhood School and into a Private School that lacks the economic and cultural diversity that can only be found in Columbia Schools which is an Education all its own. In Schools like Guilford with a high ESOL and FARM population it's not surprising that its test scores aren't as high as a School that has nothing but American Born rich people who can afford tutors and don't have to translate test questions. Your child will get a finer Education at Guilford than some $15,000 a year Private School.