Help us save Ayrlawn Park
Ayrlawn Park has been REMOVED by MCPS
from the list of potential school building sites.
Thank you ALL for your tremendous and overwhelming support!
Montgomery County Public Schools (“MCPS”) is considering building an elementary school on the current site of the old Ayrlawn Elementary School (which currently houses the YMCA). In order to build a new 750 student, two story facility, MCPS would require annexing all of Ayrlawn Local Park. MCPS would need the Park property because the MCPS owned property is much too small for building a modern elementary school. As you can see in the diagram outline at right the amount greenspace that would remain after construction of the school would be reduced by about 50%. All that would remain of our ball fields, playgrounds, tennis courts, and greenspace would be a small play field and one of the current baseball fields. This remaining greenspace would also be the site for portable classrooms in the event MCPS underestimates the size needed for the school (as they have done with Wyngate, Parkwood and several other elementary schools).
This proposed school is not intended to reduce current classroom sizes or to reduce school populations; rather it is intended to address the projected excess enrollments beyond the capacity of the current WJ and BCC elementary schools, outside of the Wyngate, Ayrlawn and Sonoma neighborhood.
The County acknowledged that they should try to preserve our urban parks to benefit our communities and there were several other Park sites under consideration for building an elementary school. It is important to note that MCPS has agreed to remove all other parks from consideration for this construction….EXCEPT AYRLAWN PARK.
Please help support this cause by SIGNING THE PETITION linked to the park saving button on the right.
How losing Ayrlawn Park would impact the community
Poor location for growth
Current MCPS forecasts project that Wyngate Elementary School enrollments WILL NOT EXCEED the school’s capacity. As a result, this school is being built on our neighborhood park due to the increase in expected enrollments elsewhere in the greater Bethesda area. This further reinforces that the school will increase traffic within our neighborhood. This school is not planned to reduce classroom sizes at Wyngate. The school is not for the benefit of our neighborhood. This school is to address overcrowding expected in other parts of greater Bethesda.
Walter Johnson cluster Elementary schools expecting to be over capacity include Farmland, Ashburton and Garrett Park. The significant in-fill development taking place in the Wildwood Manor, Grosvenor Woods, Marymount and Garrett Park communities are attracting new families leading to expanding enrollments. Clearly there are better and closer alternative school sites than Ayrlawn. Re-establishing Grosvenor Lane Elementary, building on the old WJLA TV tower site or developing a school on the undeveloped site of the North Bethesda Community Center (across from WJ) all seem more reasonable alternatives which would benefit everyone by having an elementary school closer allowing students to in those areas to attend schools in their neighborhoods. In addition, none of these options take over existing park land.
Overcapacity in other areas
BCC cluster Elementary schools expecting to be over capacity include Bethesda, Somerset and Rock Creek Forest. The significant apartment and condo development and expansion in downtown Bethesda and the substantial in-fill taking place in Glenbrook and Westboro are what is principally driving the increased enrollments in the BCC cluster. A school built at GE Coffield, Lynbrook Center or BCC Recreation Area all seem more central to the increased student populations and would allow projected students in those areas to attend schools in their neighborhoods.
Who makes this decision?
Below is a list of representatives that influence this decision, as well as their contact information.
Please reach out to them to have your voice heard.
Please reach out to them to have your voice heard.
Mike Riley - Director of Montgomery Parks
(301) 495-2500 and Mike.Riley@montgomeryparks.org
Patricia O'Neill - Montgomery County Board of Education (representing our district - 3)
(240)-740-3030 and Patricia_O'Neill@mcpsmd.org
Dr. Jack Smith - MCPS Superintendent of Schools
(240)-740-3020 and firstname.lastname@example.org
Shelby Bowers - Montgomery Parks
(301)-495-2595 and Shelby.email@example.com
Andrew Friedson - District 1 Council Representative
(240)-777-7828 and firstname.lastname@example.org
Jamie Duffy - MCPS Construction Contact
(240)-314-1015 and James_p_duffy@mcpsmd.org
Seth Adams - MCPS Construction Division Director
(240)-314-1000 and Seth_P_Adams@mcpsmd.org
Entire Montgomery County Board of Education
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Here are a few recommended talking points for each of the above officials:
How else can I get involved?
Inform your neighbors! This grassroots movement loses its impact if we do not have the support of the community behind us! Speaking with others will get the broad participation needed to keep Ayrlawn from changing into this new development.
Sign-up for our email list. Reach out to us at email@example.com to keep yourself in the loop with any further updates.
Attend community meetings. By coming and participating in meetings with MCPS and Park officials, we can make sure we are seen and heard by those representing us.