New Construction

Prince George’s County to Break Ground on Six New Schools

Prince George’s County in Maryland is set to break ground on six new schools during the week of June 28 to July 2. The goal of the multi-school construction initiative is to address aging infrastructure, rising enrollment figures and a deficit of space for middle-school students in particular.

The schools are being built through the system’s Blueprint Schools Initiative, which will help build, finance and maintain the multi-school construction project. According to a press release, Prince George’s County will be the first school system in the U.S. to use a “full-scope alternative financing model” for the necessary work. The county has the second-oldest school buildings in Maryland, according to officials, as more than half of them are more than 50 years old.

Monday, June 28, will see the groundbreaking ceremonies for Walker Mill Middle School and Adelphi Middle School. Tuesday, June 29, will see the ceremonies for Kenmoor Middle School and Drew-Freeman Middle School. And on Wednesday, June 30, groundbreaking for a new Southern Area K-8 Academy and Hyattsville Middle School will begin.

The district announced in January that a partnership with the Prince George’s County Education & Community Partners (PGCECP)—a consortium of Fengate Asset Management, Gilbane Development Company, Gilbane Building Company, Stantec and Honeywell—had been finalized and would be formally known as the Blueprint Schools. Through this deal, the district announced the forthcoming construction of six new schools that would house approximately 8,000 students.

According to a January press release, the Blueprint Schools Initiative was designed to build schools quickly, halving delivery time with lower construction costs and preventative maintenance. Community benefits include procuring at least 30 percent of eligible costs of the programs to minority-owned and community-based businesses and small businesses to provide a local economic stimulus.

“The County Council welcomes this next critical step toward employing creative strategies to build six new schools in the County to meet the needs of our students and communities,” said Council Chair Calvin S. Hawkins II (At-Large). “We are excited to celebrate the community benefits of this unique public-private partnership, which is providing important educational and economic opportunities as part of the groundbreaking Alternative Construction Finance Program.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].