Friday, May 13, 2011

The myths of "the former school site" & "the school in the park".

Two weeks after our County Board of Ed made its shocking proclamation to seize Rock Creek Hills Park, we would like to use aerial photographs to refute two misconceptions regarding the Board's arbitrary and unreasonable decision:

1. This would not be "putting a new school where an old school was".
That's just not possible. Because, as these aerial photos show, the Kensington Park retirement home now stands on much of the former Kensington Junior High site (today's Rock Creek Hills Park is mostly the old school's playing field). In fact, Rock Creek Hills Park is so much smaller than the former KJH site, that it is 33% smaller than the Board's own standard for a middle-school site. Because of its small size and limited road access, as a middle-school site, Rock Creek Hills Park is clearly inadequate.

2. This would not be "a school in a park".
That's just not possible. Because it wouldn't fit. Let's be clear: The Board resolved to take our Park's land from the Parks Department, who would then be out of the picture. Speaking of pictures, here's another aerial photo, this one of the Cabin John Middle School currently under construction in Potomac, on a site about five acres larger than Rock Creek Hills Park. Look – there's no green there! Our park's trees and fields would be lost to a four-story building complex, acres of parking lots, and massive retaining walls.

Following a deeply flawed and secretive process, with no transparency or community involvement, the Board made a mistake. But, we all make mistakes. Now, the Board should do the right thing. The Board should resolve, as soon as possible, to restart the B-CC middle school site selection process.

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