Sunday, May 8, 2011

"Dear County Executive Leggett,"

Email from Jeff Blake to Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, May 3, 2011.

From: Jeff BLAKE
Sent: Tuesday, May 03, 2011 8:35 AM
To: ''

Dear County Executive Leggett,

As a resident of Montgomery County for over 18 years and with two school age sons, I have seen first hand the need to address the ever increasing population growth that has put a burden on our school system.

But after reviewing the March 8, 2011, Site Selection Advisory Committee (SSAC) Recommendation for B-CC Middle School I am extremely disappointed in the selection process. Why would the SSAC propose Leland Local Park (3.71 acres), the former Rollingwood Elementary School (4.07 acres) and Grace Episcopal School (10.94 acres) as possible sites and then immediately throw them out because they were accessed as too small? Particularly when the Board of Education’s standard for a middle school is 20 acres. Although I can believe finding 20 acres of suitable land in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase cluster would be very difficult, it seems ridiculous to even consider four acres when the set standard is 20 acres. Another selection mystery is the former Montgomery Hills Junior High School that is located outside of the B-CC Cluster. The selection criteria clearly states the BOE wanted to identify property inside the cluster. Then of course, this was one of the reasons noted for its withdrawal from consideration.

These observations lead me to a few conclusions: This study was done in a great hurry with minimal regard to selection criteria. Or the requirement was to present 10 locations knowing that one or two locations had already been selected, but to give appearance that many locations were looked at. Either way it is very disappointing. I believe a another site could be selected that would better meet the requirements for a middle school. The current selection site has many issues, the least of which are the relatively small portion of usable acreage, little to no expansion potential, huge impact to our small community roads and loss of a well used park.

I urge you not to vote for the Board of Educations selection until viable alternatives are properly selected and fully assessed.

Jeff Blake
9801 E. Bexhill Dr .
Kensington , MD 20895

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