The groundbreaking ceremony for the newest Frederick County public elementary school, Urbana, took place this afternoon. Student representatives from grades kindergarten through five and Urbana Elementary Principal Tracy Hilliard joined County Executive Jan Gardner, Treasurer of Maryland Nancy Kopp, Maryland Senator Michael Hough, Board of Education President Brad W. Young, Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban and other officials for the event.
Located on 19 acres at 3554 Urbana Pike in Ijamsville, the 98,200-square-foot elementary school will open next fall for the 2020-2021 school year, with a capacity to serve 725 students. The overall design is the fourth version of the elementary prototype used for Butterfly Ridge, North Frederick and Sugarloaf Elementary Schools with minor modifications, says FCPS senior project manager Brad Ahalt. Construction costs, he says, are projected at nearly $35 million, with an overall project budget of $46 million including design, construction management, inspection, testing and fees, utilities, and furniture and equipment expenses. Grimm & Parker Architects designed the building. Oak Contracting, LLC is the construction manager.
The school will include 33 general-purpose classrooms with wall-to-wall wireless technology, as well as a media center and cafeteria with stage. Special rooms are planned for music, art and computer use. The site will have three playgrounds: one for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students, one for primary students in grades 1-2, and one for intermediate students in grades 3-5.
A passive-energy site orientation and layout will maximize natural lighting, with a hybrid mechanical design to include variable refrigerant flow and geothermal technologies to further reduce energy costs. The school will also use occupancy and motion detectors to conserve energy.
Students assigned to the Urbana Elementary attendance area have been attending Urbana at Sugarloaf Elementary while awaiting completion of the rebuilt Urbana Elementary. When Urbana Elementary re-opens at its site, a redistricting plan underway in Frederick County will determine which students return to attend the new school.