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The location of two new middle schools proposed to relieve overcrowded classrooms in the northern region of Prince George’s County is pending community approval. Low attendance at March 8 and 9 public hearings has caused final recommendations to be extended until April. Final recommendations were due on March 22.

“By 2020, we’ll have a shortfall of the 3,600 new seats we’ll need,” said Capital Improvement Program Officer Rupert McCave. “If we do nothing, we’ll have a real problem on our hands as far as where do we send these kids?”

Each proposed middle school will seat 1,200 students and is expected to be complete for the start of the 2019 school year “if funding goes well,” McCave said.

A budget of $83,211,027 was approved within the FY 17-FY 22 for the capital improvement plan for one new middle school in the Buck Lodge/Nicholas Orem area and one new middle school in the Charles Carroll/William Wirt area of the county. “…16 sites were deemed appropriate for a new middle school based on acreage, availability, site conditions and locations,” Kevin Maxwell, CEO of the Prince George’s County School District, said in a site feasibility analysis. Findings and site recommendations were presented to the Faculty Advisory Committee on March 2015.

The location for Buck Lodge/Nicholas Orem area is being decided between four sites: Park Lawn Park, Cool Spring Road, Adelphi Road Park, and Langley Park Community Center/Langley Park McCormick Elementary School. Adelphi Park, currently located at Mary Harris Mother Jones Elementary School, was ranked the most feasible construction site by the Waldon Studio Architects design team.

Director of Business Development Christa Kerrigan said the project is estimated to cost $71.6 million. She said that Langley Park, Park Lawn Park, and Cool Spring Road ranked second, third and fourth for feasibility, due to a smaller campus size, increased construction requirements and unideal landscape.

Two site locations are under consideration for the Charles Carroll/William Wirt middle school: Blue Heron Way/Templeton Knolls and Glenridge Park, with the latter ranked most feasible, according to Kerrigan.

The cost is anticipated at $74.5 million which includes more basketball courts and soccer fields, she said. The sites are located by trails, ponds and national parks which support the school system’s goal of creating environmentally friendly middle schools through its partnership with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Factors such as efficient water use, education initiatives, atmosphere, energy, and environmental quality were also considered during the site feasibility analysis. “We were being good stewards of the earth when we were designing these,” Kerrigan said.

An online survey is being created to allow more members of the public to provide their input regarding the locations of the middle schools. According to staff at the county school’s communications office, the survey should be available by the end of the week and can be accessed at pgcps.org.