Groundbreaking planned for new Frederick County school

By Josette Keelor

Frederick County Public Schools will hold a groundbreaking event on Tuesday for the new Frederick County Middle School at 4611 N. Frederick Pike, Winchester.

The ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. that day and include comments by School Board Chairman Stuart Wolk, Superintendent David Sovine and Frederick County Board of Supervisors Chairman Richard C. Shickle.

Afterward, a reception will be held at Gainesboro Elementary School, said Steve Edwards, coordinator of policy and communications for schools. The school is next door to the build site.

Intended to replace the current Frederick County Middle School, at 441 Linden Drive, Winchester, the new middle school will be bigger and better able to accommodate the growing student body.

Built in 1965 as a junior high school, the current school is 96,701 square feet and has a capacity of 730. The new school will be almost double that size, accommodating about 900 in a space of about 180,000 square feet, according to the school district website at http://www.frederick.k12.va.us.

The School Board has not yet decided how it will use the current school building after the new school opens.

Featuring an open layout, the new school will include a discovery zone with a media center, main circulation center and an amphitheater stair for group gatherings, informal seating and performances. The discovery zone will also include the dining commons and cafeteria, with a serving line offering themed stations and various food options similar to the design of a food court.

Nine small learning communities throughout the school will each accommodate about 100 students, a learning house for each grade level and outside learning gardens.

The estimated project cost is $49,500,000.

“We’re excited about the project,” Edwards said, “and looking forward to holding the groundbreaking ceremony and moving forward with the construction.”

For more information and artist renderings, visit http://tiny.cc/0xe1lx and click on the left-hand link for New Frederick County Middle School.

Contact staff writer Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com