Beverly Farms, Hoover plan major summer renovations

By Emilie Plesset, Online Opinions Editor

For many CHS students, nine years of memories will be destroyed this summer as Herbert Hoover Middle School and Beverly Farms Elementary School will be demolished and undergo construction.

Beverly Farms is scheduled to start construction this July, and during the 2011-2012 school year Beverly Farms students will attend school at the North Lake Center in Rockville while Hoover students will attend the Tilden Holding Center in Rockville.

However, Hoover will only be partially demolished this summer.

According to Hoover Principal Billie Jean Bensen, unlike Beverly Farms, the entire building will not be destroyed. Instead, Hoover’s new addition will be built around the atrium wing.

“I feel kind of sad,” sophomore Steven Miller said. “I’m going to miss the buildings because that’s where all these memories are.”

The new Beverly Farms is scheduled to be ready by December 2012, and the new Hoover is scheduled to reopen in August 2013.

Most CHS students have attended at least one these schools.

According to registrar Denise Fabrizio, 60 percent of CHS students attended Hoover, and many of them attended Beverly Farms since Beverly Farms is one of three elementary schools which feed into Hoover.

“There will be a lot of changes,” Beverly Farms Parent Teacher Association (PTA) President Kim Band said. “It’s a brand new building, and the interior will be completely state of the art.”

The Beverly Farms bus loop will be moved to the side of the new building, and the building itself will be larger and designed to blend in with the surrounding neighborhood.

According to Band, the artwork that Beverly Farms students have created and displayed throughout the past years, including those dating back to when some CHS students attended Beverly Farms, will be preserved as much as possible.

“There is a lot of art inside and outside of the building,” Band said. “We are going to save and preserve as much as we can and find a place for them in the new building.”

The new Beverly Farms will also be much larger. According to Bensen, the new Beverly Farms building will accommodate 1,200 students, which will eliminate the need for portables.

Both schools will be built as environmental-friendly institutions and be evaluated by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), an internationally-recognized green building certification system standard.

“There are all kinds of things that will be going into the school that will be environmentally safe and sound,” Band said. “All schools have to be silver certified, but Beverly Farms might be the next level up.”

The new Hoover extension will also include environmentally-friendly additions. According to Bensen, the roof of the new Hoover building will include live plant material, and the heating and cooling systems will be situated underground. There will also be classes to explain to students the construction process and the building’s use of environmentally-friendly materials.

Other plans for Hoover include new tennis and basketball courts and a different gym location.

According to an Aug. 4 Potomac Gazette article, the Hoover building’s student capacity will rise from 914 students to 1,092 students.

Virtual pictures of the new Hoover building can be found on www.moseleyprojects.com.

Once construction has started, all Beverly Farms and Hoover students will be bused to their respective holding schools.

“I have a younger brother in sixth grade, and before the renovations he could walk to Hoover from our house in around 10 to 15 minutes,” sophomore Jennifer Jin said. “Because of the remodeling he is going to have to get up earlier and take the bus to go to Tilden.”

Before Beverly Farms and Hoover are torn down, many CHS students will visit their former schools.

“It would be nice to see them one last time before they are gone,” Miller said.