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& DANCE CARD Comedian Engvall takes break from competition to stop by Strathmore. B-5 The Gazette DAMASCUS | CLARKSBURG DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Wednesday, October 2, 2013 25 cents Federal agencies in county closed Hundreds likely furloughed in shutdown n BY KATE S. ALEXANDER AND KEVIN SHAY STAFF WRITERS PHOTOS BY DAN GROSS/THE GAZETTE Above, Construction continues on the new elementary school in Clarksburg at Snowden Farm Parkway and Blue Sky Drive. Below, signs indicating this as a possible school site remain even though construction on the new school is clearly underway. Schools adapt to Clarksburg boom n New elementary school under construction CAPACITY STATS VIRGINIA TERHUNE n Little Bennett Elementary capacity: 673 students. BY STAFF WRITER Construction is well underway for a new elementary school in fast-growing Clarksburg, where the number of incoming students has far surpassed capacity in recent years. The new, as yet unnamed school with a capacity of 740 students will relieve overcrowding at Little Bennett and Cedar Grove elementary schools. Due to open late next summer for the 2013-14 year, the new building rising on 9 acres just south of the Clarksburg Village North local park is bounded by Snowden Farm Parkway, Blue Sky Drive and Grand Elm Street. With a design similar to Little Bennett, it will cost an estimated $25.7 million to build, according to project information provided by Montgomery County Public Schools. Parents and staff completed an advisory boundary study in June, with most favoring an option that would keep students from Arora Hills together and n Cedar Grove capacity: 422 students. n The new elementary school situated between the two schools has a capacity of 740 students. those from Clarksburg Village together. That is likely to mean that children from Arora Hills, which is almost fully constructed, will stay at Cedar Grove, and children at Clarksburg Village, which continues to grow, will move to the new school, which would also accept students from See CLOSED, Page A-12 Starr calls for later high school start Enrollment as of Sept. 30: 988 (315 students, or 47 percent, over capacity). The 988 is 28 fewer students than the 1,020 students projected for 2013-14. Enrollment as of Sept. 30: 735 (313 students, or 74 percent, over capacity). The 735 students is 125 students more than the 610 students projected for 2013-14. Thousands of federal jobs and employees call Montgomery County home, but many were not working Tuesday after Congress’ inability to compromise on the federal budget, shutting down most government operations. Exactly how many Montgomery County residents were forced to stay home was unclear, but most agencies in the county were slashing operations and mandating that most employees stay home. Employees who are furloughed are required to not work and will not receive pay. Montgomery is also home to many companies that con- tract with the government. Those companies could see employees furloughed and delays in contract bids and awards. Eighteen federal agencies and installations are in the county, including the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Institutes of Health. When Congress failed to pass legislation to fund the government Monday night in an impasse over the health care reform law, it triggered plans for agencies to halt all but essential operations. For the Silver Springbased Food and Drug Administration, 45 percent of its 13,000-member workforce Little Bennett, said Cedar Grove Principal Lee Derby. System Superintendent Joshua Starr is expected to send his boundary change recommendations to the county Board of Education on Oct. 15. That will be followed by a board worksession on Nov. 7, public hearings on Nov. 11 and 14, and a vote on Nov. 18, said Bruce Crispell with the system’s division of long-range planning. Flood of students Derby said he had to deal with a large and unexpected influx of new students over the summer. About 200 more students enrolled at Cedar Grove over last year, a number that was also 125 more than the number projected for the current 201314 year. “[The housing units in Clarksburg Village] were built and occupied much faster than anticipated,” he said. “We didn’t anticipate that they would sell so quickly.” “It was a steady flow over the summer,” he said. “I think we’re the school in the county that came in most above the projection in terms of percentage.” Derby said he spent a lot of time with contractors who have reshaped spaces to accommodate more students, including See BOOM, Page A-12 n First bell would ring at 8:15 a.m. BY LINDSAY A. POWERS STAFF WRITER High school students in Montgomery County Public Schools may be one step closer to getting more time to sleep before they wake up for school. Superintendent Joshua P. Starr announced Tuesday his recommendation to move the start time for the school system’s high schools back 50 minutes, from 7:25 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. Starr is also recommending adding 30 minutes to the elementary school day to match the length of the high school and middle school days, and moving middle schools’ start time 10 minutes earlier to 7:45 a.m. Start and end times would not change until the 2015-16 school year at the earliest, Starr said. Starr said at a press conference Tuesday that the school system will study the feasibility and practicality of his recommendation, partially through engaging students, families, staff and the community and partially through estimating costs. “We’ve heard from some but not all of our community,” he said. He said there’s “a clear link” between sleep and students’ health and well-being, an area of focus for the school See START, Page A-12 New chapter looms in fight over required government ads in newspapers Sides disagree on most efficient ways Digital to get information to the public overnment n The first in a two-part series INSIDE n High-speed Internet access is available to more than nine of every 10 households in the county, making it one of the nation’s most connected communities. A-15 NEWS WATERSHED RESTRICTIONS ON WAY? Planners consider limiting the amount of development around Ten Mile Creek. A-4 BY ANDREW SCHOTZ STAFF WRITER Lawmakers and government groups are resuming a fight with media representatives over a requirement to buy newspaper advertisements. Known as “legal notices,” the ads are mandatory an- nouncements of certain government proceedings, such as public hearings and zoning requests. They are a revenue source for newspapers and a longstanding way to inform the public. The main questions: Are these ads the best way to publicize government workings? SPORTS Should government bodies be forced to buy the ads? The Maryland Municipal League and the Maryland Association of Counties argue that the current legal-ad system is inefficient and wasteful; government bodies have better, cheaper ways to reach constituents. But the Maryland-DelawareD.C. Press Association, a media SIZE DOESN’T MATTER Rockville High quarterback lacks traditional size, but is putting up impressive numbers. B-1 Automotive Calendar Classified Community News Entertainment Opinion School News Sports Please DAN GROSS/THE GAZETTE Garrett Park’s official town bulletin board inside the post office. See ADS, Page A-15 B-15 A-2 B-11 A-4 B-5 A-16 A-14 B-1 RECYCLE FALL HOME SERVICES INSIDE FOCUS ON LAWN & TREE SERVICES LOCAL JOBS INSIDE ADVERTISING INSIDE B SECTION 1906631

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