School board members on Tuesday agreed to spend $987,000 to add more classroom space to the elementary school under construction in Rockville.

The initial plan was to build Richard Montgomery Elementary School #5 with space for 602 students at first, but with the capability of holding up to 740 through a future expansion project.

Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith recently decided to change course by building the school with the higher capacity at its opening. Rockville residents and city officials advocated for the modification to deal with school overcrowding in the area.

The school at 332 W. Edmonston Drive is scheduled to open in September 2018.

A staff memo shows that expanding the scope of construction would cost an estimated $987,313. However, savings from earlier in the construction effort will cover the cost of the additional capacity, so the school board will not have to request any additional funding from the Montgomery County Council. Expanding the project will not delay the school opening, according to the memo.

The school board unanimously approved the plan changes.


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