Montgomery Planning Recommends Approval of New Building for Woodlin Elementary School

by MCS Staff
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Montgomery Planning staff recommends approval of new two-story building for Woodlin Elementary School in Silver Spring.

Fun Fact: Sylvester Stallone and Dave Chappelle both attended Woodlin Elementary School in Silver Spring.

Actor Sylvester Stallone grew up in Silver Spring, attending Woodlin Elementary School and Montgomery Hills Junior High. He was enrolled as a student at Blair High School for a brief period of time before leaving for Philadelphia after getting into a little bit of trouble in the area.

Comedian Dave Chappelle was born in D.C. and raised in Silver Spring. He attended Woodlin Elementary School and has often mentioned riding the Red Line while growing up in the area.

Per Montgomery Planning:

• The Proposal will replace the existing one-story elementary school and childcare facility with a two-story elementary school fronting on Brookville Road to accommodate up to 740 students and approximately 65 faculty and staff, as well as a new childcare facility that will accommodate up to 127 children and 20 faculty/staff. The reduced building footprint and reconfiguration of parking and circulation provides additional open space for the students.

• The proposal provides a bus loop on Brookville Road for morning and afternoon bus activity, and a second vehicular access from Luzerne Avenue for student and childcare drop-off and faculty parking.

• The proposal requires a Forest Conservation Plan and Variance for the removal of 10 specimen trees, which is evaluated under a separate staff report.

• The site design of the proposed school on this relatively small site presents a two-story massing on Brookville Road with an attached one-story childcare facility on Luzerne Avenue. The parking has been reconfigured but retained on the “service” side of the site west of the school while the eastern portion of the site has been given over to expanded open and play areas for the children. Bus circulation, as recommended in the Master Plan, has been relocated to Brookville Road, while parent and faculty circulation has been minimized and located next to the main entrances for the school and childcare facility.

• Planning and MCDOT staff have discussed with MCPS necessary improvements along Brookville Road to include a turn lane for buses, a Master-Planned buffered sidepath, and a pedestrian crossing. MCPS has identified that their approved budget cannot accommodate these improvements. Staff for both Departments have therefore conditioned the approval of the Mandatory Referral on their implementation/facilitation so that supplemental budget discussions may take place in the future.

 

Per the recommendation, MCPS should comply with the following recommendations:

1. Pedestrian Safety
The Applicant should install the following pedestrian safety facilities to improve student and community access to the Site:

a. The Applicant should provide improved sidewalks that are a minimum of five feet in width with a grass buffer that is a minimum of six feet in width.

b. The Applicant should provide ADA accessible sidewalks on-site that are a minimum of five feet wide.

c. The Applicant should provide high-visibility crosswalks on the eastern crossing of Brookville Road and Montgomery Street.

d. The sidewalks along the Site frontage should continue in material and grade across the driveway to remind motorists to watch for potential conflicts with pedestrians and students entering the school site.

2. Bicycle Facilities

a. In conformance with the 2018 Bicycle Master Plan the Applicant should install the recommended
sidepath along the Brookville Road frontage consisting of a 10-foot asphalt path and a minimum three-foot buffer. In lieu of constructing the facility, the Applicant should leave a minimum of 13 feet behind the curb, devoid of permanent structure such that Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) can install the master-planned sidepath in the future.

b. Bicycle Parking: The Applicant should provide 38 short-term bicycle spaces near the main entrances to the building in accordance with the 2020 Bicycle Parking Guidelines.

3. Site Circulation and Access

Per the approval letter from the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (see Condition 4), prior to release of the right-of-way permit the Applicant shall construct a left-turn lane on southwest- bound Brookville Road for buses entering the proposed on-site bus loop. Prior to the permit stage, the applicant shall submit for DPS and MCDOT-Division of Traffic Engineering & Operations review and approval plans that detail the necessary roadway improvements for the left turn lane.

More information on the project can be found here.

Featured photo shows Woodlin Elementary School and school photos of Sylvester Stallone and Dave Chappelle from their elementary school years.

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