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Bester Elementary School Feasibility Study offers four concepts

April 12, 2011|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com

Four site plans for a new/renovated Bester Elementary School were presented to the Washington County Board of Education on Tuesday.

The school board voted Tuesday afternoon to eliminate concepts B and C, both of which would have incorporated part of the existing Bester Elementary School into the new Bester Elementary.

The two options left both call for building a new Bester Elementary. One, Concept A, would raze the existing school and the other, Concept A1, would leave it for an undetermined use.

According to the Bester Elementary School Feasibility Study, the four concepts are:



Concept A

  • Construct a new U-shaped 73,186-square-foot school building on the back end of the property. This would have a two-story classroom wing.
  • Demolish the existing school, including the original 1930 building and 1938 and 1965 additions.
  • Allows students to attend the existing school while the new school is built. Students lose outdoor play areas during construction.
  • Provides two ballfields and an overlapping multipurpose field on the South Potomac Street side.
  • Vehicle access from Mill Street and South Potomac Street, further north and away from the Memorial Boulevard intersection.
  • A total of 100 parking spaces.
  • Total building area of 73,186 square feet.
  • Easy to add more classrooms in future.
  • Construction would cost $17.25 million and take 23 months.


Concept A1

  • Construct a new U-shaped, 73,186-square-foot school building on the back end of the property. This would have a two-story classroom wing.
  • Keep the original 1930 school building with 1938 rear wing for another purpose.
  • Demolish the 1965 addition.
  • Allows students to attend the existing school while the new school is built. Students lose outdoor play areas during construction.
  • Provides for a ballfield and overlapping multipurpose field on the north side of the property.
  • Vehicle access off Mill Street and two access points off South Potomac Street. The entrance near the intersection with Memorial Boulevard is eliminated.
  • A total of 173 parking spaces.
  • Total building area of 73,186 square feet.
  • Easy to add more classrooms in future.
  • Construction would cost $17.2 million and take 23 months, but maintenance and utilities for the unoccupied original building — estimated to be at least $90,000 a year — would be extra.


Concept B

  • Renovate the classroom wing in the original two-story building.
  • Construct a one-story 51,320-square-foot addition.
  • Classes could be held in the 1965 building wing during construction. After construction, this building would be razed.
  • The media and gym wing would be razed before construction.
  • Some students would have to attend classes in portable buildings during construction. Students would lose outdoor play areas during construction.
  • Provides two ballfields and an overlapping multipurpose field on the back end of the property.
  • Vehicle access off Mill Street and two access points off South Potomac Street. The entrance near the intersection with Memorial Boulevard would be eliminated.
  • A total of 104 parking spaces.
  • Total building area of 74,334 square feet.
  • Harder to add more classrooms in future.
  • Construction would cost $18.28 million and take 27 months.

Concept C

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  • Keeps the facade of the original building, facing South Potomac Street, but demolishes the two-story structure behind the facade.
  • Construct a new structure behind the facade of the original building. This would house the gym and cafeteria.
  • Build a new, adjoining two-story classroom building along the Memorial Boulevard side.
  • Some students would have to attend classes in portable buildings during construction. Students would lose outdoor play areas during construction.
  • Provides two ballfields and an overlapping multipurpose field on the back end of the property.
  • Vehicle access from Mill Street and South Potomac Street, further north and away from the Memorial Boulevard intersection.
  • A total of 100 parking spaces.
  • Total building area of 72,733 square feet.
  • Easy to add more classrooms in future.
  • Construction would cost $18.38 million and take 27 months.
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