A replacement building for Waverley Elementary School on the same site is being recommended, regardless of capacity, as the Board of Education considers its options.
Frederick County Public Schools staff looked at options for a school with a capacity of 725 students, which has been the standard in recent elementary school construction projects, and 1,019 students. While staff didn’t take a position on which size school to build, it recommended a new building after conducting a feasibility study.
“Replacement options meet the required educational specifications adjacencies and provide the overall functionality the school will need to maintain its success in the future,” the feasibility study stated. “The renovation/addition options generally have longer construction periods, require students and staff to move temporarily one or more times, and have significant compromises to the educational specification requirements.”
A replacement school with a capacity of 725 students would cost approximately $46 million.
A new building that could meet the needs of 1,019 students is projected to cost about $61 million.
During construction, students would be able to stay where they are while the new building is completed, according to the study.
The current Waverley building has a state-rated capacity of 416 students and, as of Sept. 30, 2017, an enrollment of 670. That crowding will be eased when the new Butterfly Ridge Elementary School opens, but in the 2022-2023 school year, which is the earliest the Waverley project could be finished, it is projected to have an enrollment of 669 students, according to the study.
The timing of the project depends on the replacement of Rock Creek, but the study anticipated design would begin this year. Construction would start in the spring of 2021 once the new Rock Creek School is completed.
Due to the current crowding, FCPS has had to move prekindergarten to the Rock Creek School, which is on the same site as Waverley. The school has also had to bring in 16 portable classrooms, and a portable restroom, which are primarily used for third, fourth and fifth grades.
Both Waverley and Rock Creek sit on an 18-acre property, sharing an address at 201 Waverley Drive.
Staff determined that while the structure of the building is sound, a second floor would not be supported by the building. Staff could build additions adjacent to the current school, though.
During the feasibility study, staff found visible water damage to the roof deck in the main mechanical room as well as standing water present on the roof at each of the ends of the central classroom wing. There are also cracks in the site wall of an exterior storage room addition that will need to be repaired if a new building is not built. Exterior walls, while structurally sound, do not meet current energy codes, according to the study.
The study also determined that both the electric and mechanical systems in the building are in poor condition, and at the end of their life.
Staff held bi-weekly meetings and several community meetings throughout the five-month study.
School safety presentations
Law enforcement personnel and the security supervisor for FCPS are holding joint presentations on school safety at every county high school.
The goal of the presentations is to inform the public on the district’s safety procedures, known as avoid, deny, defend.
The presentations will all be held from 6 to 8 p.m. The dates for each school are:
- April 12 — Walkersville High School
- April 16 — Gov. Thomas Johnson High School
- April 24 — Middletown and Oakdale high schools
- April 26 — Urbana High School
- May 1 — Brunswick High School
- May 2 — Tuscarora High School
- May 7 — Catoctin High School
- May 15 — Linganore High School
The one for Frederick High was Monday.