On December 14, 2016 the Frederick County Board of Supervisors met for an agenda meeting. Among the items on the agenda was the approval of Frederick County Public School’s budget for the Capital Improvement plan. The three top priority projects on the plan are the construction of the fourth high school, the Armel Elementary School addition/renovation project, and the construction of the 12th elementary school in the Snowden Bridge community. The school system wants to implement these projects to deal with present and projected overcrowding in schools. The school board released a statement saying a conservative projection would be an addition 2200 students over the next 10 years.
During a meeting on December 2, 2016 the school board entered a request for an additional $123.8 million to start the projects. $8 million has already been spent on these projects for the purchase of land and further studies into the area along with design plans.
What is unusual about the Board of Supervisors decision to take no action on the budget is that usually the Board of Supervisors holds a public hearing at a future meeting for residents to voice their opinions, but a public hearing was never set and the Supervisors just voiced their concerns. No action was taken on the budget. Without action, the three projects for the school system must be delayed. Additionally the citizens who voted for the Supervisors now do not have the opportunity to voice their opinions to their representatives.
The Superintendent of Schools, Dr. David T. Sovine, wrote in a letter to staff that he will continue along with the School Board to work with the Board of Supervisors to help them understand the purpose and need for these projects. Due to no action being taken on the funds, the school system will have to look at other alternatives to deal with the overcrowding and future student growth which includes: rezoning school zones, using additional modular classrooms, reopening the former Frederick County Middle School as the fourth high schools to relieve overcrowding, and building additions onto already existing high schools. The school system predicts the additions will be more costly than the planned fourth high school.
To share your opinions on this matter with your supervisor on the board, use this link to find your supervisor and then contact them: http://www.co.frederick.va.us/departments/a-e/board-of-supervisors/board-members-and-contact-info/find-your-magisterial-district