Wood Acres Elementary School Addition ProjectParents holding banner that reads: Acres of Students, Inches of Space.

FAQ (Updated January 2015)

The Wood Acres ES Addition is moving forward! For the latest information on construction of the addition, please visit the WAES Addition webpage.  

Thank You,
The Wood Acres PTA

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

What is the Wood Acres ES Addition Project?
This project as designed will include:
1) 8 classrooms;
2) Auxiliary classroom space, including a room to be shared for Music and Art Instruction;
3) Student services therapy rooms;
4) Administrative and staff offices;
5) A dedicated instrumental music room;
6) An interior courtyard;
7) Closet and storage space; and
8) Expansion of the Cafeteria (MCPS considers this an "Add-Alternate" in the design and it will be included in the project if the construction costs are within the County budget).

What will the Addition look like?
To view the schematic design for the Addition, click here: http://www.boarddocs.com/mabe/mcpsmd/Board.nsf/files/9FYVY47525E2/$file/11.2%20Prelim%20Plans%20Wood%20Acres%20ESPPT.pdf

Why do we need more classroom space?
Wood Acres ES classroom capacity is 550 students. Our enrollment during the 2013-14 school year was nearly 800 students. Student enrollment has increased every year since 2007. We now have 7 portable classrooms to accommodate these continued increases. Our music room has also been converted into a classroom. The Wood Acres physical site cannot accommodate any additional portable classrooms, and our core and auxiliary spaces are overused.

Will our students be relocated during construction?
Yes, all Wood Acres ES students will be relocated during construction. All enrolled Wood Acres students will attend the MCPS Radnor Center, less than 1.5 miles from WAES, at 7000 Radnor Road, just off Goldsboro Road. (See below for more information about the Radnor Center.)

Why do our students need to move out of Wood Acres?
MCPS Department of Construction staff has determined that it is in the best interest of student and staff safety to be out of the facility during the construction process. Specifically, MCPS staff has reported that the transport, storage, and operation of construction equipment and materials during construction of the addition cannot be executed while students are in the building. Access to Wood Acres ES is constrained by neighborhood streets, adjacent homes, and Montgomery County Park land. There is no area large enough to safely relocate all seven portable classrooms, staff parking, and school playgrounds.

SPECIFICS ABOUT THE TEMPORARY RELOCATION TO RADNOR

** Updated November 2014 **  When exactly will the relocation occur?
Wood Acres ES is scheduled to move to Radnor over the 2014-15 Winter Break, which begins on Wednesday, December 24, and goes through Friday, January 2.  MCPS has added TWO ADDITIONAL DAYS to our break -- Monday, December 22, and Tuesday, December 23 -- to allow teachers to pack and unpack their classrooms.  The last day of school for Wood Acres students will be Friday, December 19, and all students and staff will return to school at the Radnor Center as scheduled on Monday, January 5, 2015.  Please note that this schedule change only applies to Wood Acres and not to other schools in the Whitman cluster.  Please plan accordingly.  

How long will our students be at the Radnor Center?

Following MCPS Division of Facilities and Construction protocol for school additions, our school's relocation to Radnor is scheduled for 18 months, from January 2015 through June 2016.

Where is the Radnor Center?
The Radnor Center is located at 7000 Radnor Road in Bethesda, just off Goldsboro Road and less than 1.5 miles from Wood Acres ES.

Can the Radnor Center hold all Wood Acres ES students?
Yes, the Radnor Center has housed large elementary school enrollments and can accommodate Wood Acres ES enrollment using portable classrooms. Radnor currently has 16 interior classrooms, 20 portable classrooms, a library, computer lab, music room and art room. All of the classrooms are equipped with Promethean boards. The Radnor Center does not have a gymnasium.

Given the structural limitations of the Radnor Center and the lack of a gymnasium, modifications to the current lunch-recess schedule and specials classes will likely be made. Wood Acres administrators, teachers, and PTA volunteers will work with MCPS staff throughout 2014 to plan for and ensure that all students have access to similar classroom facilities and school resources during the relocation.

How will my child get to the Radnor Center?
All WAES students will take the bus to the Radnor Center. Bus routes will be added to accommodate students who are currently walkers to Wood Acres. Due to parking limitations and other site constraints, families will be discouraged from driving their children to school in the morning or picking them up by car at dismissal time.

Will the temporary relocation impact daily start time, dismissal time, and bus schedules?
We do not have definitive information yet, but it appears highly likely that bell times will remain unchanged. We will share additional information when we have it.

Will my child's classroom be located in the main building or in a portable?
Classsrooms for Grades K and 1, and some of 2, will be located in the main building; classrooms for some of Grade 2, and all of Grades 3-5, will be located in portables. Many of the specials classrooms will also be located in portables.

Will there still be six lunch periods at Radnor?
Yes, given the size of the cafeteria/all-purpose room at the Radnor Center, it is not anticipated that grades can be combined to reduce the number of lunch periods.

What is the outdoor play space like for recess?
The outdoor play area at Radnor is spacious, and includes a variety of play equipment (climbing structures, "rock" wall, etc.) and a new, large black-top area with basketball hoops. Unlike at Wood Acres, the Radnor play area is all on one level behind the building, and fenced in along the back and sides.

What about the PE program – how will that work without a gymnasium?
The lack of a gymnasium certainly poses challenges to the PE program, but the schools that have relocated there before us have made it work. There is a double-sized classroom at Radnor that can accommodate some indoor PE activities. In addition, the outdoor play space can accommodate many activities and other schools have utilized the outdoor space heavily. Some modifications to the PE program may be required, but Wood Acres staff and administration are working hard to ensure that all students receive robust PE instruction.

Will the before-school and after-school child care program still operate at Radnor?
Yes, MCCCA has contracted with MCPS to provide before- and after-school care at Radnor for the 2014-15 school year. In addition, busses to the off-site after-care programs will continue to operate from the Radnor Center.

** UPDATED 10/20/15 ** What about other after-school programs that currently operate at Wood Acres, like Chess Club and MSA sports programs – will they still be held at Radnor?
We anticipate that all PTA organized and/or sponsored after-school programs -- such as STEM classes, FLES classes, Chess Club, and Wizard of Oz -- will be held at the Radnor Center.  It is also our understanding that programs organized by outside organizations -- such as MSA Sports, Scout meetings, etc. -- may apply for facility permits at Radnor as well, and that they will be accommodated as space allows.  We encourage parents to check with any outside organization to determine whether they will apply for space.  NOTE: there will be a one-week moratorium on ALL activities (other than Wizard of Oz) during the first week we are at Radnor -- the week of January 5th -- to allow staff time to get settled after the move.

Will PTA Events like Bingo Night, International Night, etc., still occur at Radnor?

Yes, most PTA-sponsored or supported activities will continue to be held at the Radnor Center. Due to space limitations, some activities may need to be modified, but we do not anticipate a significant impact on our existing events and programs. The few events that require a gymnasium or large auditorium space will likely be moved to Pyle or Whitman, as the Winter Concerts were during the 2013-14 school year.

How can I learn more about the move to Radnor and the Addition? How can I stay informed, and get involved?
The WAES PTA will continue to provide updates via the PTA website, the Wildcat Week Ahead, and WoodNet.

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Schematic Design Plan

MCPS Addition Design Plan and Meeting Notes

November 2013 WAES PTA Testimony before the MCPS Board of Education

November 2013 Whitman Cluster Testimony before the MCPS Board of Education

 

© Wood Acres PTA  2014
5800 Cromwell Drive / 240-740-1120 / School Day: 9:00 am - 3:25 pm

 
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