The Montgomery County school board will take final action Dec. 12 on Superintendent Charles M. Bernardo's proposed $17.4 million capital improvement budget for fiscal year 1980. The budget includes a recommendation that one new upcounty school be built. Another will be needed by 1983, according to Bernardo.
Bernardo, who came under fire during the recent school board elections [WORD ILLEGIBLE] among other things, the closing of 23 county schools during his three years in office, is proposing that a new middle or junior high school be built in Neelesville by 1981 and a four-year high school in Germantown by 1983.
The $6.4 million projected cost of the Neelesville school was the most expensive of the 11 projects recommended by Bernardo. The other projects include the purchase of furniture for Walt, Whitman High and Stephen Knolls Elementary School and modernization at Damascus Elementary School, Darnestown Elementary School and Woodward High School. The budget also calls for new gymnasiums at Farquhar Middle School and Jackson Road, Lake Normandy, Rocking Horse Road and Olney elementary schools.
Implementing Bernardo's budget would require a $11.48 million allocation from the state, and $5.9 million from the county. Last year's CIP budget totaled $7.1 million.
Despite Bernardo's $6.4 million request for the Neelesville school, only $3.3 million tentatively has been set aside by the Maryland Interagency Committee for new school construction in Montgomery County. Funding for the new Germantown high school will not be proposed formally until fiscal year 1961.
"Our needs exceed the allocation," Bernardo said in his presentation of the CIP budget. "I think it is important to delineate all of our needs in this early stage of budget planning so that we might be able to save more later on when final decisions are made."
Both the Neelesville school and the Germantown High School would be the first built in the county since Ridgeview was constructed in 1975. Both would be in the fast growing Gaithersburg-Germantown area of upper Montgomery County.
"We've got a tremendous need for more schools upcounty," said newly elected board member Carol Wallace.
"It's terribly crowded and too many schools are operating with portables. When we have a demonstrable need, we should get our money's worth."
Wallace and two other new board members, Joseph Barse and Eleanor Zappone, have been sharply critical of past school closings.
The school board will decide at its Dec. 12 meeting whether the Neelsville school will be a middle school, composed of grades five through eight, or a junior high school, grades seven through nine.
Current school board members Marian Greenblatt, Elizabeth Spencer and Verna Fletcher expressed support for Bernardo's proposals.
The Montgomery County Council will take final action on the CIP budget Dec. 15.