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Siena School Makes Plans for New Location

School board close to signing contract for a possible fall 2011 move.

The Silver Spring chapter of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington is close to signing a contract with The Siena School to buy and slowly phase in the school at the club building at the corner of Sligo Creek Parkway and Forest Glen Road.

The Siena School, a private 4th to 12th grade school for students with mild to moderate learning disabilities (i.e dyslexia, other language-based disabilities) currently leases space from the Montgomery Hills Baptist Church.

"We knew we were running out of space, although it was a terrific place," Clay Kaufman, co-head of school said. "We've been looking around for several years, looking for want a school wants, a gym, etc. This property came up and it was so close to the Metro, which is great for our families."

About 75 students attend the Siena School this year, the school board wants to expand enrollment over time to 150 to 250 students across all grades. While Kaufman would not discuss specifics on changes to the building before the contract is signed, the site does include a pool, classroom space and a gymnasium.

Tim Robinson, the branch director at the Silver Spring Boys and Girls Club sent an e-mail to parents on October 5th, describing the possible sale and the future of the club's programs at the site. In the letter, he described giving the Siena School two years to complete proper approval from Parks and Planning before the sale was final, and the ability for BGCGW to continue providing programs for before and after school on the site for eight years after the sale.

"This means in the short term, our programs will continue as they currently operate," Robinson wrote.

After the Siena School signs the contract, they will have to apply for a special zoning exception from Planning to allow a private school to operate at the site. Kaufman expects this process could take up to anywhere from ten months to a year.

Correction: This article stated that the planning process could take from two months to a year. It has been updated with the correct estimate.

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