Monday, July 25, 2011

A letter from the Coalition of Kensington Communities.


Coalition of Kensington Communities
A Unified Body of Civic Associations
Founded To Enhance the Quality of Life in the Kensington Area

Member Associations:
(number of homes)
Capitol View Park (330)
Garrett Park Citizens Association (325)
KenGar (110)
Kensington Estates (425)
Kensington Heights (711)
Kensington View (125)
Parkwood (925)
Rock Creek Hills (660)
Rock Creek Palisades (1,700)


July 22, 2011

Council President Valerie Ervin
Montgomery County Council
100 Maryland Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850
via email: County.Council@montgomerycountymd.gov

Re: BCC Middle School #2, proposed for Rock Creek Hills Park


Dear Council President Ervin and the County Council:

The CKC represents nine communities (approximately 5,000 residences) in the greater Kensington area; our purpose is to enhance the quality of life in our community. Our member civic associations participate equally, with a rotating chair from among association representatives.

We recognize and agree that the BCC school cluster needs more middle school space to service an increasing middle school population. However, the CKC is opposed to the currently proposed site for such a school – Rock Creek Hills Park – for the following reasons. Other groups and individuals have provided background and specifics for these points so we will not repeat that information, and only provide you with our unanimously voted position.

1. The Council should not allow to stand a conclusion based on such a flawed process. A seriously flawed process has led to a seriously flawed selection of Rock Creek Hills Park for this new school. The decision to build on this site appears arbitrary and not well thought out, with an absence of objective criteria to review all possible sites.

2. Another site for the new junior high school should be found. The site of the old Kensington Junior High School was divided into two parcels – approximately one-third of the land is occupied by the Kensington Park Retirement Community and two-thirds is occupied by Rock Creek Hills Park. The proposed site for BCC middle school #2 is too small to include the facilities necessary to provide a school of comparable quality to other middle schools in the County, and it would not be adequate for the indoor and outdoor needs of middle school students. In addition, all aspects of this Park are extremely well used, and the Park should not be sacrificed; our Downcounty communities need all the playing fields and greenspace we can get.

3. To support funding for this needed new school, a “placeholder” should be included in the current CIP budget. A placeholder would not specify the location of this new school but would still allocate necessary funds. In this way, a school could be built once a reasoned approach to and process for choosing a site occurs.

Thank you for considering the opinion of our communities in making a decision about the Board of Education’s proposal to dismantle this well-used Park.

Sincerely,

/s/ Donna R. Savage

Donna R. Savage
Current Chair for the CKC
Kensington, MD

Copy:
Isiah Leggett, Montgomery County Executive
Christopher S. Barclay, President, MC Board of Education
Fran├žoise Carrier, Chair, MC Planning Board

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