This was released by Montgomery County Public Schools. Public meetings have been announced regarding capital improvements at Seneca Valley High School.

“This notice is to inform you of the scheduled Schematic Design Meetings for the approved capital project at Seneca Valley High School. Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) extends an invitation to you to participate in this process. While all are invited, the community is encouraged to send representatives from their respective streets, areas, and associations. Everyone present will have the opportunity to hear about the study process for the proposed project.

The purpose of these meetings is to develop a preliminary design for the above-mentioned school project. This is an evolving process whereby input from the previous meeting is incorporated into the ongoing proposed design. These meetings are to determine spatial relationships within the school’s interior, the pedestrian and traffic flow of the site, and how the school will fit into the community at large.
Participants will include representatives of the school, PTSA, neighbors, government agencies, the design architects, and staff from MCPS Division of Construction.

The dates and times for the work sessions are shown below. The work sessions are scheduled in the afternoons and evenings to allow for maximum community and school staff involvement.

Sign language interpreter services will be provided upon request with notice as far in advance as possible but not less than five business days to the event. If you need this or other services or aids to participate in this activity, please call Jim Tokar, project manager, Division of Construction at 240-314-1008. Voice-to-TTY users should call Maryland Relay (711) or e-mail Taking these steps will help us have sufficient time to best meet your needs. Thank you.

Meeting Schedule:
Work Session Meeting #1
Wednesday, October 2, 2:30 p.m.
Seneca Valley Media Center

Work Session Meeting #2
Tuesday, October 15, 7:00 p.m.
Seneca Valley Media Center

Work Session Meeting #3
Tuesday, October 29, 2:30 p.m.
Seneca Valley Media Center

Work Session Meeting #4
Wednesday, December 4, 7:00 p.m.
Seneca Valley Media Center

Work Session Meeting #5
Tuesday, December 17, 2:30 p.m.
Seneca Valley Media Center

PTSA/Community Schematic Design Presentation
Wednesday, January 22, 7:00 p.m.
Seneca Valley Media Center

If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact Jim Tokar, project manager, at 240-314-1008 or send an e-mail

Jim Tokar
Division of Construction
Montgomery County Public Schools
45 West Gude Drive, Suite 4300
Rockville, Maryland 20850”

Waters Landing Elementary School PTA
Germantown, MD 20874


(Letter from CIP Co-Chair)


As I suspected, the Council is supportive of the $14 million increase in the CIP sought by the Board of Education. However, there is a potential problem for those in the modernization queue, as noted below.

The Ed Committee will meet on Monday to review the CIP amendments (last Monday the Ed Committee reviewed the Operating Budget request). Here are the highlights of the council staff’s memorandum:

HVAC and PLAR: “Council staff agrees with the Board that both the HV AC and PLAR projects are high need systemic areas. However, if there are insufficient FY14 funds to increase the level of effort as the Board has requested, Council staff supports maintaining the already approved level of effort for FY14.”

Planning funds: “Council staff recommends adding $220,000 to FY14 to fund the Board’s requested increase for facility planning, to keep projects moving forward in a timely manner.”

The memo also contains this statement regarding the hearings this week: “During the Council’s public hearings on the budget, several speakers testified to the importance of increased funding in these systemic projects.” THANKS, all who testified on CIP this week. I wasn’t able to attend in person, but I was there in spirit.

Modernizations. But, there is a significant word of caution, particularly for those in the modernization queue. The CE’s recommendation included a $20 million reduction in the out years of the CIP. The Council staff notes that this reduction could be met by (1) delaying the MS mods (beginning with Farquhar) or (2) delaying either Wheaton or Seneca Valley HS mods by 1 year. Neither of these mods is recommended, but they were put out there on the table. Instead, the staff recommends using different assumptions for the School Impact Tax to reach the CE’s reduction.

For those affected by a potential modernization delay, I would recommend you send a quick email to the three Ed committee members. It should say that you oppose delaying any modernizations to meet the County Executive’s proposed reduction in GO Bonds for FY 15-18 and that you support finding these funds from the School Impact Tax or other sources. Do this before Monday morning. The email addresses are:

The full memo is available here:


Steve Augustino
Co-Chair, CIP Committee

Here is a sample email that you can send to County Council Members:

Dear Council Member,

I respectfully submit my support of Seneca Valley High School remaining on the current schedule for modernization. The current building is in a state that is unfit for learning. The students deserve physical space that allows them to participate in an enriching 21st century academic environment. The building is original to its 1975 construction and is in a significant state of disrepair such as leaking roofs and water unfit for human consumption through fountains. The modernization has been delayed several times allowing the situation to go from bad to worse. It is completely unacceptable for our children to continue entering this building.

It is also important to understand that a newly built SVHS will attract more residents to our area thereby increasing property values.

Please ensure that this project continues as currently expected.


On April 10th, our own Kevin David will be giving testimony at the County Council meeting in an effort to ensure that the budget passed by the council is not cut. This is particularly important for Waters Landing families and for all families in the Seneca Valley cluster as support for the IB Middle Years Programs at MLK and RCMS could be cut by the council despite the MCPS Superintendent’s recommendation.

What can you do? Attend the County Council meeting! Bring your children or friends! The best way to impress the County Council that the IB Middle Years program is important (as well as other important budget items) is to show up at the meeting. This can mean the difference between success or failure. The IB Middle Years program is a huge step forward for our middle schools, and we cannot let this opportunity slip away. Please plan to attend Wednesday evening, April 10. We will send out the approximate time of the testimony as soon as it is published on the council meeting agenda.

If you would like to know more about the IB Middle Years Program and why it is important for our students, see and talk to a PTA member.

As always, thank you for your support of the Seneca Valley Cluster.

Waters Landing Elementary PTA
Germantown, Maryland