Watch as Demo Crew Flattens Front Entrance at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School

Project to build 88,000-square-foot addition is on track for completion in 2018-2019


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Construction crews tore down the front entrance of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School on Tuesday for an ongoing expansion project.

Credit: Bethany Rodgers

An excavator tore away the front entrance to Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School on Tuesday as work on a $30 million addition project ramps up for the summer.

Progress on the roughly 88,000-square-foot addition to the Bethesda school on East West Highway is running on schedule, and the 24 new classrooms should be ready for students when the 2018-2019 school year begins, said Seth Adams, construction director for Montgomery County Public Schools.

Adams said crews needed to demolish the school’s front-facing wall so they could build a connection with the addition. During the past school year, students have been using a secondary entrance into B-CC, and the main entrance probably won’t reopen until the winter break, he said.

“There is quite a bit of work we had to wait until the summer to complete,” he said. “With these addition projects, it is sort of a dance. It is disruptive, no doubt, but we’re trying to balance the loud construction.”

The project that began last summer has forced the relocation of several portable classrooms and claimed space on the football field, which construction workers have used as a staging area.

Demolition work on Tuesday at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. Credit: Katherine Grover

The building constructed in 1934 is squeezed onto the county’s smallest high school campus and is designed to accommodate 1,683 students. However, B-CC’s enrollment topped 2,000 for the 2016-2017 school year.

The project will hike the school’s capacity by 724 students by providing new classroom space, four science labs, a dance studio that could double as a black box theater, art class spaces and other staff rooms.

This summer, crews will rip up the school’s tennis courts, student parking spaces and retaining walls to clear space for the addition, Adams said. Construction workers will then elevate the tennis courts and build student parking spaces underneath.

Rendering shows four-level addition on the west side of the existing Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School and elevated tennis courts to allow parking underneath. Via MCPS.

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