MCPS renovations: School board adds $200 million to capital improvement plan

OLNEY, Md. (WJLA) – Jennifer McKneely and Angela Edwards both have kids at William Farquhar Middle School.

"We can't replace all the light bulbs, there's mold in closed areas, we can't open those areas and use supplies in those areas," complained McKneely.

From an infrastructure standpoint, the school is reportedly at its limit.

MCPS had sketched plans for renovation, with crews set to break ground this June on a new state-of-the-art, LED-certified building.

A similar project was also on the calendar in Poolesville, one set to replace the town’s 60-year-old school that has faulty wiring and only one handicap-accessible entrance.

But last month, Superintendent Joshua Starr nixed both endeavors with his $1.55 billion capital improvement plan.

The five-year construction guide delayed 16 elementary school rebuilds by one year, and four secondary school rebuilds – including Farquhar and Pooleseville – by two years.

And during two school board public hearings last week, parents voiced their outrage at the delays. One week later on Monday night, the board finally fulfilled requests to rebuild, adding nearly $200 million to the capital improvement plan in order to keep construction at the four schools on track.

"It feels like the board of education really heard the parents' concerns and really were reacting to the situation our kids are going to school in," said Edwards.