Bethesda Elementary Addition Set For Review

Proposed Bethesda Elementary School addition (No. 12 in yellow). Via MCPS

A proposed two-story, eight-classroom addition to Bethesda Elementary School (7600 Arlington Rd.) is set for review at the county Planning Board next week, as MCPS moves along in the process to add capacity to the overcrowded building.

The 384-student capacity school had an enrollment of 512 students during the 2012-2013 school year. That enrollment is projected to drop to 485 students in 2013-2014 and 471 students in 2014-2015, but MCPS wants the 12,800-square-foot addition to bump up the capacity to 568 in time for the fall of 2015.

All nine schools in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School cluster were over capacity this school year, though Somerset Elementary School was over capacity by just one student.

The addition would be attached to the existing main school building near the main entrance and bus loop and provide four classrooms on each floor with bathrooms, storage and mechanical closets.

The school last saw significant changes when it underwent a modernization in 1999 that doubled its size. Bethesda Elementary was built in 1951 at just more than 21,000 square feet. After an 8,000-square foot addition in 1976 and the 1999 modernization, it comes in at around 62,000 square feet today.

MCPS presented its preliminary plans for the estimated $3.5 million addition in April. You can view those plans here.

The school system hopes construction documents are completed in October, a construction contract is awarded in January 2014 and construction is completed in August 2015.

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