Montgomery school board finalizes capital project request -- Gazette.Net


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The No. 1 complaint that the school systemís facilities department hears from schools is about heating, cooling and ventilation problems, according to James Song, director of facilities management for Montgomery County Public Schools.

Thatís why Superintendent Joshua P. Starrís No. 1 request in his amendments to the school systemís capital projects is for additional funding for replacing heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

Starr and the Montgomery County Board of Education finalized their request last week that asks the County Council to add $14.2 million to its already approved $1.35 billion plan. The boardís request will now be submitted to the council and the County Executive.

Board members said earlier this month that they are not sure if the county will support the request.

The bulk of the request, or $11.5 million, is for the HVAC projects. The extra funds would enable the school system to complete six more HVAC projects by 2018 for a total of 11 projects and increase the funds spent on the projects to $18 million, Song said.

Heating and cooling in schools were among the top concerns that parents raised at the hearings last week, said board President Shirley Brandman (At-large) of Bethesda.

The school board did not add any other amendments after hearing from parents and community members at two public hearings last week.

Board member Laura Berthiaume asked for a resolution that would have accelerated the design process for a renovation project for an elementary school in Rockville, but all other board members voted against it.

The board members said it would seem as if they were favoring that project over so many others that are waiting to be completed if approving the resolution.

The rest of the request is for $2.5 million for building parts such as fire alarms, public address systems, water and sewer systems, floors, ceilings, windows and doors; and $220,000 for boundary and capacity studies for schools.

jbondeson@gazette.net