The Montgomery County School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a schematic design for an expansion project at Falling Branch Elementary School.
Among other additions and renovations, the project will add 17 new classrooms, and increase the size of both the library and cafeteria.
The project will add about 28,500 square feet to the school’s existing size of 57,000 square feet. Falling Branch currently uses nine mobile units and the extra space will help solve concerns over both student population growth and security.
“I very ecstatically ‘so move,’” said District C representative James Lyons after supporting the motion to vote on the design. Other board members also expressed enthusiasm for the design before casting their votes.
J. D. Price, an architect with OWPR Architects and Engineers, said at a Feb. 7 school board meeting that the project will also renovate 11,400 square feet to create an administrative space in front of the school. The administrative offices will double as an extra buffer against intruders, creating a safer school entrance.
Price said the project will cost about $10.5 million. Construction is expected to begin this summer and continue off-and-on through summer 2018.
The status of other capital projects was also discussed during the monthly update on district facilities.
Construction on a new Shawsville Middle School gym is expected to start this summer, and the addition of Eastern Montgomery High School’s weight room will begin in the spring or summer of this year.
Christiansburg High School’s weight room and small auto shop will be relocated this summer. Superintendent Mark Miear pointed out that the new auto shop room is larger than the current room.
“We may even be able to expand the program because of this,” Miear said.
Plans to replace flooring at Gilbert Linkous Elementary School are in the beginning stages, as are plans to replace an auditorium partition at Christiansburg High School.
A new preschool swing set is expected to be installed at Belview Elementary School in the coming weeks.