Armel Elementary School Addition/Renovation

The Armel Elementary School additions and renovation project is the number three priority on the Frederick County Public Schools’ 2021-2025 Capital Improvements Plan and is scheduled for completion in August 2024.  The project is needed to renovate the 28-year-old facility and address overcrowding as well as enrollment growth in the school’s attendance zone due primarily to residential development at Lake Frederick.  Armel Elementary School has a capacity of 558 students and 654 students enrolled as of September 30, 2019.  An additional eight classrooms will be added as part of the addition and renovation project.  To date, funds have only been appropriated for the design of the addition and renovation.  Additional action will be necessary by both the School Board and Board of Supervisors before construction can begin. 

Project Timeline

The Armel Elementary School addition and renovation first appeared on the Frederick County Public Schools 2015-2020 Capital Improvements Plan.  In December 2016, the School Board asked the Frederick County Board of Supervisors to appropriate $7.5 million to allow for the addition and renovation project to proceed.  In April 2017, the Board of Supervisors shared that it was unwilling to fund the Armel Elementary School addition and renovation project as presented and requested.  

Project Goals

The Armel Elementary School addition and renovation is being designed by OWPR Architects and Engineers. After gathering input to better understand instructional best practices and considering ways to improve building design based on lessons learned from past projects, the goals for the project were established. They include:
  • Increase student capacity.
  • Provide natural light in classrooms.
  • Encourage collaboration among students and foster student ownership for their own learning.
  • Encourage collaboration among faculty and paraprofessional staff.
  • Develop flexible spaces that allow agility of furnishings
  • Support the student need for movement.
  • Develop transparency within the building so students can be inspired by the work of their peers.
  • Develop an environment that supports the FCPS one-to-one Chromebook initiative and encourages the use of technology.
  • Provide each teacher with access to a Maker Space to promote student engagement and project-based learning.
  • Utilize the building and the greater environment as a teacher.

School Design

The project will include the construction of five different additions onto Armel Elementary School.  Three of the additions will be built on the eastern side of the building (areas housing third, fourth and fifth grades).  Another addition will be built on the north side of the building (area housing second grade).  The final addition will be on the northwest corner of the building (area housing kindergarten).  The project will also extend the existing kindergarten patio and add a paved fire lane around the school. Once completed, the additions and interior renovations will result in the creation of six collaborative learning spaces inside the school- one for each grade level K-5.