Old school’s fate will linger until ’16
Posted: January 3, 2013
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — Frederick County school officials will not decide on the fate of the current Frederick County Middle School until the new school opens in 2016.
“Once [it] opens, the School Board would determine how the school division could best utilize the current FCMS property in the future,” Steve Edwards, coordinator of policy, records management and communications, said in an email Wednesday.
Late last month, school officials announced that the Frederick County School Board had bought a 38-acre site located immediately west of Gainesboro Elementary on North Frederick Pike (U.S. 522), including five acres that were already owned by the division.
The site is made up of four properties — purchased for $709,860 — one of which includes a house. A decision on possible uses of the house will be made at a later date, Edwards said.
According to real estate transfers, the properties were individually owned by Charles Adams (13.8 acres), Dennis Sirbaugh (7.4), Boyd McDonald (4.7) and Gary Kaiser (7.1).
The current Frederick County Middle School, located on 23 acres on Linden Drive, opened in 1965 and has an aging infrastructure and a school design that officials say presents challenges to teaching its approximately 660 students.
The current building has an assessed value of $5.95 million, while the land it sits on has a value of $2.35 million, according to the Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office.
The property is currently zoned light residential. Officials do not know if the division will seek to sell the property.
Wes Williams, vice president of marketing and community relations at Valley Health, said the system has “potential interest” in the property due to its location near Winchester Medical Center and physician offices on Amherst Street.
“We’ve had some casual conversation but nothing formal at this time,” he wrote in an email Wednesday.
The new property is centrally located within the Frederick County Middle School attendance zone and will allow for a campus setting to be developed between Gainesboro Elementary and the new school.
Construction is set to begin in the spring of 2014.
— Contact Rebecca Layne at email@example.com