November 25, 2013
The Montgomery County Board of Education approved a $1.74 billion six-year Capital Improvements Program(CIP) request for MCPS that will help ease overcrowding caused by years of dramatic enrollment growth. The request includes 14 new classroom addition projects and keeps on schedule many other projects that will add capacity to schools. The capital budget request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 is $251.6 million.
A new six-year CIP is approved every two years and includes investments in four general categories—capacity projects, such as new schools and classroom additions; revitalization/expansion projects that upgrade and expand existing schools; infrastructure improvements; and technology.
The Board’s CIP request represents an increase of more than $376.5 million over the current CIP (FY 2013-2018), but is far less than the district’s actual need. It would require a $2.2 billion CIP to meet all of the district’s pressing facility, infrastructure and technology needs.
The Board’s CIP request will now be submitted to the County Executive and the County Council for consideration. The County Executive will release his CIP for the county, including MCPS, in January. The Board will consider the CIP request in the spring.
Superintendent Joshua P. Starr submitted a $1.55 billion CIP recommendation on October 28. The Board’s requested CIP is about $192.6 million higher than Dr. Starr’s recommendation because of changes the Board made based on community input and districtwide need.
Public hearings on the CIP were held on November 11 and 14, attracting hundreds of students, staff, parents and community members. Much of the testimony focused not only on space shortages, but also on the growing need to replace aging buildings and infrastructure.