It's expected to be completed by Aug., 2014.
The Boy and Girl Scouts led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance, and students sang the school song as people gathered Thursday afternoon for a groundbreaking for a new North Frederick Elementary School.
The facility will be located on the same 14.14-acre property as the current building at 1001 Motter Avenue. It will be a two-story structure with 93,605 gross square feet, and a 702 student capacity. There will be 25 classrooms, and two each art and music rooms, and computer labs. There will also be a gymnasium, cafeteria with a stage, a media center and wireless computer technology. It will replace a building that first opened in 1954.
"We will look back fondly on the fun times, great memories and special occasions we've had in this building, and take the spirit, traditions and reminders of the rich history to our new building," said DeVeda Coley, Principal, North Frederick Elementary. "We look forward to creating new memories, expanding upon our existing traditions, and continuing the great events that make North Frederick such a great school."
As part of the ceremony, Coley read some letters from students, who expressed their excitement about a new school, which will have new lockers, a stairs, a new playground, new classrooms and new bathrooms. But Superintendent of Schools Dr. Theresa Alban, says this new building will also be energy efficient. "It's going to be Silver LEED Certified and it's going to incorporate the latest in geo-thermal heating technology. That means your teachers won't be able to complain that it's too hot or too cold in their classrooms anymore," she said. In addition, Dr. Alban said there will be a lot more natural lighting because it improves academic achievement.
Getting to this point took some time, as a lot of parents and their children who attended North Frederick Elementary complained about deteriorating conditions in the school building, including periodic flooding when it rains heavily and the lack of restroom facilities. Commissioners' President Blaine Young, who attended North Frederick Elementary as a child, said the current Board of County Commissioners has worked hard move up a lot of school projects in the County's Capital Improvements Program. "We moved up Oakdale Elementary, that addition. We said we want to see the groundbreaking of this and completed before we leave. We moved up by two years the addition to Urbana Middle. We got the wheels moving for Frederick High," he said.
Construction is already underway at the site, even as the groundbreaking was taking place. The old building will be demolished once a new facility is up and running. The cost of the construction is $23.9-million. But when construction management, inspection, permit fees, furniture and equipment are added in, the total cost is estimated at $29.9-million.