Construction at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School Relocates Portables

Football team to play home games at Walter Johnson


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Work crews continue construction of B-CC’s four-story addition, which will be built on the school’s former tennis courts.

Douglas Tallman

New students arriving at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School for orientation Thursday will find football players practicing on the baseball diamond and portable classrooms moored outside the school along East-West Highway.

The changes come as work crews continue a four-story addition that will allow the school’s capacity to grow to more than 2,400 students.

“I think we’re all ready to get to work,” Principal Donna Redmond Jones said Wednesday. Classes at Montgomery County public schools start Monday.

The new location of the school’s eight climate-controlled portables are actually closer to the school than where they were previously positioned on the school’s west side. That will make it easier for students traveling between the main building and the portables to get to class, Jones said.

Much of the construction work is taking place on what was the school’s tennis courts, on the school property’s west side along Pearl Street. Although temporary chain link fencing blocked the school’s bus lane Wednesday morning, the passage was expected to be clear in time for the arrival of orientation day buses, Jones said.

The construction work means the B-CC Barons will lose their football field temporarily. This fall, home games will be played at Walter Johnson High School, about 5 miles away in Bethesda. Jones said logistics are still being worked out for an Oct. 7 pep rally—in advance of the school’s homecoming game against Poolesville High School. 

B-CC Principal Donna Redmond Jones stands outside her high school where work crews are in the middle of constructing a $30 million addition. (Photo: Douglas Tallman)

Because of the construction, B-CC’s football team practiced Wednesday morning on the school’s baseball diamond. (Photo: Douglas Tallman)

The school’s athletic trainer also lost some space in the main building due to the construction work, but new Athletic Director Donna Considine said that won’t pose much of a problem because the space previously stored unused equipment.

The start of construction of the $30 million addition comes as B-CC celebrates its 90th anniversary, Jones said. Expected to be completed for the 2018-2019 school year, the addition will cover 88,000 square feet, and include 24 classrooms, four science labs, a dance studio, and new art class spaces. The school’s six tennis courts will be elevated 20 feet, allowing for student parking underneath.

For the 2016-2017 academic year, B-CC will have about 24 new teachers, many already with classroom experience, Jones said.

Earlier this year, The Montgomery County Council appropriated $37.9 million to the school system to hire more teachers to reduce class sizes. Jones said B-CC is applying that in ninth- and 10th-grade English, as well as algebra and geometry classes.

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