Plans for Clarksburg High addition move forward -- Gazette.Net


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Clarksburg High School expects to add one or two more portable classrooms to handle a growing student population next year, while a two-story addition to the school that will add capacity moves one step closer in the planning process.

Preliminary plans for an 18-room addition to Clarksburg High School are set to go before the Montgomery County Board of Education in early 2013, with the next phase being detailed designs of the rooms, according to school officials.

The two-story addition to the rear wall of the school is expected to absorb the overflow of about 325 students at the school, which is currently using 11 relocatable classrooms for English, math and social studies classes, said Principal James Koutsos.

Koutsos has said he expects to add one or two more relocatables next year to accommodate growth in the fast-growing Clarksburg area.

The second floor of the proposed addition, which is designed with four labs and three classrooms, will likely be used for science-related classes, said Koutsos at the fourth and final public meeting about the preliminary plans held Dec. 19 at Neelsville Middle School.

The three classrooms could be used for forensics, health professional classes and physics, he said.

"Thatís where student interest has been in registrations and enrollment," Koutsos said.

However, Koutsos said final decisions about how the second-floor space, along with the 11 classrooms on the first floor, will be made closer to the opening of the addition for the 2015-16 year.

In the meantime, Koutsos has said he expects to add one or two relocatables next year to handle a projected 25 more students.

Construction of the addition is not expected to interfere with instruction in the main building, said James Tokar, project manager with the school systemís division of construction.

Deliveries of materials will be scheduled at times other than student pick-ups and drop-off times, he said.

Budgeted at $11.8 million over six years, the project is expected to go before the County Council in May as part of the capital improvement budget for funding year allocations.

Tokar said the project is expected to go out for bid next fall with the contract to be awarded in early 2014 and taking about 18 months to build.

Clarksburg High School opened in 2006 with a student population of 1,000.

It currently has capacity for 1,575 students, and there are about 1,900 enrolled for the 2012-13 school year with 25 more expected next year, according to school system enrollment records.

vterhune@gazette.net