The Montgomery County school board on Thursday approved the design for a new high school in Gaithersburg, expected to open by 2027.

The $180 million school, now called Crown High School because it is in the Crown neighborhood, will be five stories and have space for about 2,200 students. The school could be built larger, if needed, to accommodate up to 2,700 students.

The lower level of the school will house the gym and other spaces open to the public. It will also have dining space, an indoor amphitheater and space for a special education program, Stantec Architecture Principal Derk Jeffrey said.

The next floor will have the child development program, the administrative wing, a media center and the performing arts wing.

The remaining floors will largely be dedicated to classrooms and labs.

A rendering of the future Crown High School in Gaithersburg.

There will be several courtyards, project leaders said, and about 65% of the project is open space.


The building will be constructed for “optimal solar orientation,” so it will be more environmentally friendly. It will use solar panels and geothermal energy, Jeffrey added.

The school is being built to ease crowding at five other county high schools:

• Gaithersburg High
• Northwest High
• Quince Orchard High
• Thomas S. Wootton High
• Richard Montgomery High


The land is owned by the city of Gaithersburg. The mayor and City Council in 2006 dedicated the land in 2006 for MCPS to build a school, with the condition that construction must start within 20 years or the city would reclaim the land, MCPS Director of Facilities Management Seth Adams said.

In MCPS’ current capital budget, construction is scheduled to be completed in 2026. But it’s possible that could be delayed one year to 2027 as county and school district officials consider amendments to the budget this year.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at