Controversy Over Bethesda-Chevy Chase Middle School Site

School classroom without studentsThe next Bethesda-Chevy Chase Middle School site has finally been narrowed down to two locations. But not everyone is so happy with the results.

What’s Been Decided?

The Site Selection Advisory Committee for Bethesda-Chevy Chase Middle School #2 concluded that Rock Creek Hills Local Park is the preferred location.  Through a scoring process that included such things as utilities, overall cost and size, Rock Creek Hills received a score of 130.  The alternate choice, North Chevy Chase Local Park, received a score of 28.

What Are the Problems with Rock Creek Hills?

Local parents and members of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission have criticized the proposed location for a number of reasons.

The B-CC High School NAACP Parents’ Council wrote a report saying the Rock Creek Hills Local Park location would limit school diversity. The proposed location in Kensington, less than ten minutes from Chevy Chase, is considered too far from other cluster communities in order to include a diverse student body.

Staff from the County Department of Parks and the County Planning Department filed minority reports detailing the problems with the recommended location.  Frederick Vernon Boyd of the county planning board felt that many suitable locations were overlooked since parks were seen as more accessible.

The new location would also take away existing park space from Kensington and Chevy Chase residents.

The cost of the new location is another issue. The estimated price tag, at $52,616,842, is about $6 million more than previously estimated.

What Next for the New B-CC Middle School?

Clearly, things aren’t set in stone just yet. There are a few more steps before the final decision will be made.

The public has until March 26 to submit their thoughts about the proposed middle school location. On March 30, the Superintendent will publicly release his recommendation for the next Bethesda-Chevy Chase middle school. On April 12, the Board of Education will take action regarding the proposed site.

Do you think Rock Creek Hills is a a good place for the next Bethesda-Chevy Chase Middle School? Tell us what you think.