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'Severe' Crowding Projected for Arcola, Forest Knolls Elementary Schools

Arcola and Forest Knolls are among 12 schools included in a study slated to begin in January.

Montgomery County Public Schools will attempt to explore ways to address overcrowding problems in a new study of 12 elementary schools in the Downcounty Consortium. 

Arcola Elementary School and Forest Knolls Elementary School in Wheaton are two of four schools with the "most severe" space shortages, according to a report from MCPS Superintendent Joshua Starr to the Board of Education.

Arcola introduced portable classrooms for the 2012-2013 school year, angering the neighborhood's residents and the parents of students when the portables arrived to the school's front lawn over the summer.

Starr's memo shows the gap between capacity and projected enrollment at Arcola:

Arcola Elementary School opened in August 2007 with a capacity of 434 seats.  Subsequent enrollment increases resulted in the need for a capital project to build the school out to its core capacity (624 seats) with a six-classroom addition scheduled to open in August 2015.  The enrollment, however, is projected to be 734 students by the 2018–2019 school year, which will exceed the increased capacity at the school (624 seats) by 110 students.

Forest Knolls Elementary School, also highlighted in the memo, has already experienced capacity problems in the past:

To address previous enrollment increases, a 12-classroom addition opened at Forest Knolls Elementary School in August 2005, which increased the school capacity to 506 seats.  Enrollment is projected to be 689 students by the 2018–2019 school year, which will exceed capacity at the school by 183 students. 

In this new study, slated to begin in January, Forest Knolls will be assessed for more classroom additions.

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See more articles on Wheaton Patch:

- Portables Anger Arcola Elementary School Community

- Portables at Arcola Elementary Spark Community Concern

Avocado November 29, 2012 at 03:07 PM
How could their predictions of the number of students be so wrong?? When were the pre-building predictions made? I think there needs to be an investigation of that to make sure those who made the predictions were doing their job and not just guessing randomly! It would have been cheaper to build the schools the right size to begin with!

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