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A coalition of advocates in Western Montgomery County, Md. released a white paper setting the framework for the construction of a new multi-use, collocated facility in Poolesville, Md. that will benefit and serve Poolesville High School students and Western Montgomery County residents. The proposed facility has overwhelming support of the community - 97% of the residents polled. The white paper was released at the first public meeting of the Fair Access Committee and will be officially presented to key County officials and organizations in the weeks ahead.
Montgomery County’s Park and Planning Department – led by Planning Director Gwen Wright – have extensively researched collocation and provided data that supports this proposal. Beyond the positive impact for residents in a collocation project, the reported identified numerous benefits for county agencies as follows:
Opportunity to promote agency collaboration vs competition for resources.
Possible enhancement of service delivery / more one-stop shopping for users.
Potential for multi-generational destinations.
“In the past six months, the Fair Access committee of the Town of Poolesville has proven to Montgomery County leadership that there is a services desert in Western Montgomery County,” said Jerry Klobukowski, president, Town of Poolesville Commission. “The County knows that is has succeeded in preserving the greenspace here, but it has failed to adequately preserve the quality of life for our residents. Now that we’ve proven why there is a need, this white paper outlines how we will work with MCPS, The Superintendent, our County Executive, County Council, County HHS, County Police, County Recreation and other important groups, to find a solution to meet our shared goal of bringing Fair Access to County services in the Ag Reserve.”
The proposed facility will include a modern Poolesville High School to replace the 66-year-old building with structural and safety deficiencies, which currently include: non-ADA compliant spaces throughout, lack of current security measures, asbestos and mold, and antiquated electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems.
A new Poolesville High School would be collocated with a community center, serving as a hub for Western Montgomery County residents to have access to health and public safety services, including those who are aging-in-place in the Poolesville, Boyds, Barnesville, and Dickerson communities. Residents currently have a 30-minute commute to the nearest hospitals and doctors’ offices and County Police currently patrol Western Montgomery County from substations located about 20-30 minutes away.
“We’ve done our homework. We’ve looked at similar projects in our state and nationwide that prove collocation is a feasible option for providing necessary services to communities,” said Kevin Schramm, cluster coordinator for Poolesville schools and Chairman of the Town of Poolesville’s Fair Access committee. “It’s a right-size solution and approach to meet the needs of the Ag Reserve, while creating efficiencies in construction and cost containment.”
Read the White Paper – Framework for a Multi-Use Facility and High School in Western Montgomery County