12th Elementary School

Frederick County Public Schools’ 12th elementary school will be constructed on a 20 acre site located adjacent to the Snowden Bridge development in Stephenson. The school site is also adjacent to 24 acres that are scheduled to be developed into a community park in the future. The sites for the school and community park were proffered to Frederick County by the developer of Snowden Bridge. Construction of the school is scheduled to begin in June 2018 and be completed in January 2020. The school will welcome students for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.  

Project Goals 

Frederick County’s 12th elementary school was designed by Grimm and Parker. Grimm and Parker developed the design for the building after conducting more than 40 meetings with stakeholders including students, parents, teachers, school administrators, members of the community at-large and residents of Snowden Bridge. After gathering input through the community engagement process, considering ways to improve building design based on lessons learned from past projects, and working with staff to better understand instructional best practices, the guiding principles for the school’s design were developed. They include:
  • Students - Create a home for student-centered learning where students feel valued, safe and motivated to learn every day
  • Pedagogy - Create learning environments that support collaborative, research-based instructional practices and facilitate communication, collaboration, critical thinking and citizenship
  • Inspiration - Create a place that inspires curiosity and innovative thinking, and engages teachers and students in their own learning throughout the entire school campus
  • Inclusion - Provide an inclusive learning environment where all learners are able to collaborate together and receive the instruction and support that they need as individuals to thrive in a global society
  • Teachers/Staff - Create an environment where teachers feel valued and are able to collaborate across grade levels and content areas in spaces designed for them with a common vision to engage and motivate students to learn
  • Facility - Create a safe, welcoming, naturally daylit, open and transparent environment which facilitates and highlights student achievement and success, and is flexible and adaptable for changing educational needs
  • Community - Create a school that is a good neighbor and an extension of the community that honors the history of the local area while embracing the promise of a sustainable future
  • Furniture/Technology - Provide flexible and adaptable furniture and current relevant technology to create and support an inspired learning environment
  • Character - Create an environment that supports a holistic approach to learning that includes fitness, nutrition, discovery and inspires self-directed learning now and in the future

Project Timeline

  • July 8, 2015 - The Board of Supervisors appropriated $1.5 million for architectural and engineering design of the 12th elementary school
  • August 2016-November 2016 - Design development
  • December 6, 2016 - The School Board requested the Board of Supervisors appropriate $30.9 million to proceed with construction of the 12th elementary school
  • April 12, 2017 - The Board of Supervisors approved a motion stating its willingness to consider a future appropriation of up to $27 million to construct a 12th elementary school at Snowden Bridge with a number of restrictions including: (1) the school will be a complete facility including all state standard elementary school programs, (2) there will be no unresolved VDOT comments or issues, (3) the Board of Supervisors will not be asked to appropriate any additional capital funding for the facility for a minimum of 15 years, and (4) if the capacity of the school is reduced below 600, all support areas will be designed and constructed to support the original capacity
  • June 20, 2017 - The School Board requested the Board of Supervisors appropriate $28.5 million to proceed with construction of the 12th elementary school
  • August 9, 2017 - The Board of Supervisors appropriated $27 million for the construction of the 12th elementary school
  • September 2017-December 2017 - The school was redesigned due to the appropriation approved by the Board of Supervisors being $1.5 million less than requested by the School Board
  • November 2017-March 2018 - Construction documents to be developed
  • March 2018-April 2018 - Permit review
  • April 2018 - Project bid
  • June 2018-January 2020 - Construction
  • August 2020 - School welcomes students for the 2020-21 school year

School Design

The design of the 12th elementary school represents a departure from the educational philosophy represented in the design of Evendale, Gainesboro and Greenwood Mill elementary schools which opened in 2006, 2007 and 2009, respectively. The school will total 82,300 square feet and have a capacity of 508 students. The school has been designed as a two-story building that features four collaborative learning commons surrounded by learning studios (classrooms). There will be a total of 29 classrooms in the building including five each for kindergarten and first grade and four each for second, third, fourth and fifth grades. There will also be three special education classrooms. The facility also features a gymnasium, dining area, and library as well as administrative offices. The school has been designed in such a way that the classroom wing can be expanded to provide four additional classrooms in order to accommodate an additional 80 students. The gymnasium also has the ability to be expanded in order to allow for a regulation high school basketball court and bleachers.  

The school site will feature segregated access for school buses and vehicular traffic in order to promote student safety. Buses will access the school site off of Old Charles Town Road while other vehicles will access the school via Flyfoot Drive. A multi-purpose field and track as well as outdoor learning spaces will be part of the campus.