Georgetown Day School has broken ground for its new three-story high school off upper Wisconsin Avenue NW a year after the school's plans split the Friendship Heights neighborhood that surrounds it.

Addressing nearly 500 parents and past and present students of Georgetown Day, D.C. City Council Chairman David A. Clarke spoke of city support for public and private education. City Council member Hilda Mason (D-At Large), whose granddaughter attends Georgetown Day, was also at the ceremony.

Gladys Stern, director of the school, said the high school would move from its present location at 4530 MacArthur Blvd. NW to the new campus next spring.

The new school, soccer field and track will be built on a five-acre tract between River Road and 42nd, Chesapeake and 43rd streets just off Wisconsin Avenue.

Those opposed to the plan said it would bring more noise, litter and traffic problems to the quiet neighborhood, but the city's Board of Zoning Adjustment granted approval for the building.

Supporters of the school said that it would be an asset to the community because of its reputation for quality education and that students, who are allowed to leave the school for lunch, would not disrupt the neighborhood.

The school's enrollment will grow from 330 to 410 students at the new campus.