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August 4, 2017: Please read the update from Dr. Pollard regarding modernization of the math and science facilities at Montgomery College’s Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus. 

The Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus is a full-service undergraduate campus of Montgomery College dedicated to delivering high-quality, low-cost postsecondary education. Every student must take math and science courses to obtain a degree in Maryland—so local access to quality facilities is key to student completion and success. Because students need twenty-first century learning environments to succeed at work or their transfer institution, the College’s original East Campus math and science facilities must be modernized.

Following the successful completion of three Community Conversations events, held in collaboration with the City of Takoma Park, the College will now choose one of the concepts for math and science facilities as portrayed in either the current (2013-2023) or previous Facilities Master Plan. Please note that the current Facilities Master Plan remains in place for the remainder of the TP/SS Campus. No other options for the math and science facilities, or combination/hybrid plans, can be considered.

The College invites you to use the form on this page to express your preference for a math and science facility concept that will best balance the needs of the students, community, neighbors, and fiscal discipline. Please use the information below and the associated document link for additional information:

Math and Science Building

Previous Replacement Plan

  • 4 stories
  • Rooftop air handling units
  • Gross square feet–134,000
  • Estimated total project cost–$87,928,000
  • Dual phase
    • Demo Science South–Build Phase 1
    • Demo Science North–Build Phase 2
  • Project timeline–8 Years
  • Design
    • Phase 1–2 years
    • Phase 2–2 years
  • Build
    • Phase 1–2 years
    • Phase 2–2 years
  • No flexibility in design height

Current Replacement Plan

  • 3 stories
  • Rooftop air handling units
  • Gross square feet–134,000
  • Estimated total project cost–$85,628,000
  • Single phase
    • Demo Science South and Falcon Hall
    • Build the entire building
  • Project timeline–4 years
    • Design–2 years
    • Build–2 years
  • Delivers interdisciplinary building 4 years earlier
  • Need width to lower the height—replaces Falcon Hall
  • Flexibility in design height

Math and Science Building and Facilities Master Plan Comparison (pdf)

You may also refer to the entire current and previous Facilities Master Plans, as well as other supporting documentation and public comments, on this TP/SS Campus Community Engagement page.

Please submit your comments by July 21, 2017 on the form below. The College will consider comments submitted on this page, as well as all comments previously submitted, and anticipates announcing on or about August 4, 2017, which concept for the math and science facilities will be used. Please note that all comments are posted publicly on this page. This page is moderated for appropriate content.

Questions? Contact us: Community@MontgomeryCollege.edu

Comments are no longer being accepted.

This Post Has 133 Comments
  1. It appears the current replacement plan is the most concise, as it gets the project completed 4 years earlier, with room for flexibility in design height and with better stewardship of college resources.

    Lets get it MC!

    Ramon De La Cruz
    Central Services Building Coordinator

    • Zip Code: 20850
  2. Dear Sirs,

    I am in favor of the current replacement plan. The cost and time to completion are the determining factors in my decision.
    Although the amount is small compared to the total project the savings could benefit other services.
    I have lived in off 16th Street ( one block from Silver Spring) for years and now in northern Silver Spring. I am glad to see the process the Takoma Park Campus of MC had made in those years. My hope is you will continue to grow. Your value to the community has been phenomenal. Thank for your service

    • Zip Code: 20906
  3. I love Mont College – attended there myself & sent all kids there too. I had a frightening experience at Takoma Park in 1983 – changed my major from nursing to accounting so I never had to go there again. I think building infrastructure there is not favorable. The rockville & germantown campus have a much better set up. I favor all improvements at those two campuses. They are thriving and have been fabulous since the 80’s and they continue to be. Tacoma park was not the same and I have heard other people say the same.

    • Zip Code: 20876
  4. After looking at the master plans for the campus, I would vote for the “new” (current) planned building models, where SS and FH are demolished and rebuilt as the new Math Science Center. Even though this does take the campus’s gym and pool out of commission, looking long term, this would be a more cohesive and beneficial use of the funds, time, and structure of the campus. All of rhe “original” pavilion style buildings are vastly overdue for demolition and reconstruction, and with the Sci/Math center online, the College can then focus on the OoO for the rest of the spaces, and determine which buildings should be considered next.

    Band aid solutions will not work, and going with the original campus plan does save Falcon Hall…but does it need to be saved? Long term thinking shows that the gym building itself needs major work, but in the end, it would still be an outdated facility, even if the funds were spent to “upgrade” it. That seems like throwing good money after bad.

    • Zip Code: 20902
  5. Dear Dr. Pollard,

    As an alma mater of the TP/SS campus, it is a pleasure and honor to have attended such a distinguish and remarkable institution, which has prepared me for my journey at Trinity College [ a little ivy league school (NESCAC) in Hartford, Connecticut].

    I think that the current replacement plan is better than the previous plan due to its flexibility in design height, time and cost efficiency.

    Furthermore, I would like to pas a special thank you to the staff and faculty at Montgomery College especially those who made my tiny world a beautiful place to be; professors Ian March, Padmavathi Tangirala, Ijeoma Otigbuo, Miriam Zemen, Sharyn Neuwirth, Best Vincent, Carole Wolin, Claudia Rousseau, Carol Allen, Adel Halli, Deborah Chambers, Ellen Mansueto, Caitlin James, Caroline Theberge, Mazen Zarrouk, Lucy Laufe, and Mr. Rolf Barber. As you can see, it is a long incomplete list 🙂

    Thank you for all.

    ViVa MC!!!!! MC Proud alma mater Forever.

    Best Regards,

    Wilfried Nganyak Tentchou

    • Zip Code: 06106
  6. I’m looking at this from a visual perspective of the campus. The previous Campus Plan appears very piecemeal, so kudos to those who realized the Plan needed to be readdressed before doing any more renovation or construction. The Current Plan’s lower height and the freeing up of outdoor space should make the entire campus more appealing to everyone who is exposed to it, whether they be students or just passers-by, and even more importantly provides a more refreshing view for the residents of the area. A campus with more open green space and having the building lower should also help to put students into a better mindset than a more citified or old-ish looking space. That and not having perpetual building/construction ongoing has its own set of attraction. And l love the look of the curved building planned to replace Falcon Hall, very stylish. As for the $2 million savings and reduced construction time for the current plan over the previous plan, that is yet to be realized, as projects often end up over budget and exceeds the estimated time.

    • Zip Code: 20853
  7. I think the new plan with the 3 story building, quicker construction, and less money is the correct plan. The students deserve modern science labs and classrooms ASAP. The community will benefit with the shorter construction time. The charette should be able to find proper setbacks and green space buffer to keep the mass of the building away from Blair Ziegler park. There is a swimming pool in Piney Branch Elementary and there will be a new county facility by Silver Spring metro station by the time this project starts.

    I am a 20 year Takoma Park resident and 10 year Montgomery College employee.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  8. I prefer the current plan to complete in 4 years. Flexibility in design is a plus.

    In 4 years we will need many more well trained mathematicians and scientists to undo the ravages of Trump administration.

    • Zip Code: 20878
  9. The new plan looks great with the College being good stewards of resources (lower budget), while completing the project much faster to most effectively support our students! Kudos!

    • Zip Code: 20910
  10. Dear Sir/Madam,
    Montgomery College has to keep up with the new high tech environment in order to stay in our modern highly competitive market. The College has to differentiate itself from other community colleges’ by modernizing it’s educational building with new and many other qualities needed to educate our children!

    In my opinion the new plan has everything needed to provide a modernize learning environment at TP. I support the replacement plan because it has a shorter completion plan to provide services for our community.

    Thank you

    • Zip Code: 207077
  11. Hello!
    I am a 2014 graduate of the PTA program located at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus. I took anatomy and physics classes in the labs of the Takoma Park campus. I also experienced taking chemistry and biology classes in the old; and then more recently, the new science buildings on the Germantown campus. The difference between the new and old labs is very significant in terms of equipment, cleanliness, openness and safety. I fully support building a new science building(s). I believe the Current Replacement Plan is the best because of the earlier completion date and the option to expand the height of the building to meet the growing need for higher education in the community. Go Raptors and lets get girls in STEM to fill up the new classrooms.
    Lauranne Gordon, PTA, MBA, SPT

    • Zip Code: 20879
  12. I am one of the few “double graduates” from Montgomery College, graduating from Montgomery Jr. College in 1963 in general studies, and again in 1973 from probably the hardest and the BEST nursing program in the metropolitan Washington D.C. area. i retired from the Air Force and from Public Heath, picking up a few more degrees along the way, and always said that the best instructors and education I ever had was at MC. All of us just LOVED the Takoma Park Campus. But that was half a century ago. No one had the foresight to buy up adjacent blocks of homes, and allowing residents to live in them (free) for a decade (or more), or some such program as a sensitive way to look to the future.. Or to buy up homes as they came available and then used as county administrative facilities with the property to be integrated into the MC campus later on. It’ sad to say, but MC/MJC is history. There is no room for campus expansion or parking. Management by crisis, (and band aid surgery), often says someone skipped accountability. It’s time to not only think out of the box, but perhaps find a new place to put it.

    • Zip Code: 89130
  13. I am strongly in favor of the current plan. Not only will that minimize disruption to the neighborhood, but it also brings the necessary services to the colleges faculty, students and our community sooner. I want to emphasize that while I recognize that change and any disruption is hard, the college has bent over backwards to respond to concerns that a few close by neighbors have voiced, which seem to focus on the fact that no change is acceptable. However, there are many more members of this community who value the college, its students and understand the need for up-to-date facilities. It is a privilege to have MC here in our neighborhood and I recognize that the college needs to modernize these buildings as soon as possible. This is not about the wants of a few community members, but about the needs of many students, faculty and frankly our community as a whole as we look to the future. Please proceed with the current plan to get the building done in 4 years. Thank you, Kathy Stevens

    • Zip Code: 20910
  14. Looking at the comparison between the previous and current replacement plans, it seems evident that the new plan (current) is preferable for many reasons, not the least of which is the cost savings. I would like to see that savings applied to improving library services. This is a real problem on the TP/SS campus. Thank you for the opportunity to express my opinion on this very ambitious project.

    C. Rousseau
    Professor, Art History

    • Zip Code: 20904
  15. I consider myself fortunate to have Montgomery College as a neighbor and resource in my community and strongly support the current plan to replace Falcon Hall and Science South with a new state-of-the-art three story academic building on Fenton Street. This capital improvement to the Takoma Park campus is extremely overdue and the four year design-build plan is the best way to provide MC students with a high caliber science and math learning environment. I hope this plan moves forward as expeditiously as possible.

    • Zip Code: 20910
  16. I am a North Takoma Park resident who is directly impacted by the College’s master plan. I support the original master plan to replace Science North and South as it does the least damage to the surrounding community and Belle Zeigler Park. I also continue to be dismayed by the bad faith shown by this current MCC administration regarding the 2002 agreement with the city, the county, and Historic Takoma and throughout the community meeting process. Frankly, the web page above misrepresents the original master plan and misleads participants and students about what the choices are. As a community member and as an ex community college faculty member (Portland Community College, 2000-2002), I am disappointed that the College has not taken the opportunity to show real leadership during this process.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  17. Thank you for including residents in this. When residents are involved in all decision we feel comfortable to teach that campus. Building height will be a factor. Let us see what happen next.

    • Zip Code: 21075
  18. I live half a block from the college in Silver Spring and am a huge fan of Montgomery College. I support the original plan. Having athletic facilities on the campus is essential for this student body and the original option preserves Falcon Hall while also providing students with a state of the art science center. The duration of construction has been a point that the College keeps pointing to in their argument for the new plan; it’s likely that some small changes to the plan can easily result in faster construction time.

    The footprint of the science building in the new plan eliminates all of the preexisting parking and will result in an immense structure that dwarfs all of the other buildings on the campus and the neighborhood.

    The Community Conversations with the College have been dispiriting. Although everyone was provided ample opportunity to speak their minds, the process was opaque. Furthermore, it felt to me and many other community members like there was nothing that could be said that would convince the College to waver from the new plan. In this sense, the Community Discussions were offered as a formality because the College has a legal obligation to hold them. The community rejected the working group after it became clear that the group would wield no influence and would be bound to Dr. Pollard’s decision.

    Opponents of the new plan have been painted as unsupportive of new science facilities. I have not heard a word from anyone who is arguing against providing these students with world-class science facilities. By choosing the original plan, the College can provide BOTH state-of-the-art science facilities and also provide their students with a fitness/athletic program.

    • Zip Code: 20910
  19. Based solely upon vague diagrams and descriptions, I still believe that Master Plan I (2006-2016) is the better plan to follow. Although it takes longer, the lasting result will be better, in my opinion. At the very least, no one will be lamenting the loss of Falcon Hall. At best, TPSS campus will have the large science and math building that it needs as well as a renovated fitness facility without losing a fitness facility for the better part of a decade or forever.

    Interestingly, the Master Plan II (2013-2023) in the above PDF shows a new fitness facility in place of Science North. It was my understanding that this was not actually part of the current Master Plan II, but would be saved for future plans. This is how the plan was presented at the community meeting on June 6. If it is now part of Master Plan II to actually replace Science North with a fitness facility, then perhaps Master Plan II (current plan) will be the better plan despite obviously costing much more than Master Plan I (2006-2016) or the previously presented Master Plan II (2013-2023). Again, it’s very difficult to determine this based on the diagrams and descriptions we have been shown so far.

    In my opinion, what matters most is what will stand for the next 60 years. If one project takes an extra 2-4 years, but produces better lasting results, then that is the plan to follow. If a plan is a bit cheaper and faster, but sub-optimal results stand for the next 50-60 years, it would be most regrettable.

    Thank you.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  20. Based on the layouts and projected timelines and costs for both, these will most likely exceed the original projections but in the long run, the current replacement plan does allow for more flexibility for any eventualities.

    • Zip Code: 20906
  21. I prefer a replacement plan that preserves Falcon Hall of which I am a regular user. In addition, as the Takoma campus is designated as the Health & Fitness MC campus, it makes no sense to discontinue offering health and fitness classes in a campus building. As you have only given us two choices, the older plan is the only that preserves Falcon Hall and is my choice.

    • Zip Code: 20910
  22. Dear Dr. Pollard, MC, and the team working on this project,

    Greetings and salutations! Thank you so much for the opportunity to share our comments. As a former student, and currently with one child who just finished her freshman year at MC, it is wonderful to see the changes that have benefited the student body and community at-large. The groups that I support are part of the stakeholders in this discussion, representing the Caribbean community, education resources, and arts community. There will be impact on the use of the other campus facilities as the construction commences and we hope that there will be a fair and consistent way to support the partnerships already formed with the community stakeholders. We are excited about the 4 year plan, however understanding that the fees may change, as they have a tendency to, in any County construction plan. We are not sure if the roof will allow for a green space, however, keeping as much green space, community use space and access to the building for all of our stakeholders is also vital. Thank you!

    Sincerely,
    Althea Grey-McKenzie
    Artistic Director, The White House Studios

    • Zip Code: 20906
  23. The new master plan is a distinct improvement in how the buildings address the street frontage on New York by creating a rhythm of recognizable passageways leading to interior the landscaped courtyard. Though early in the process, I recommend that the green spaces between the buildings be designed and developed for useful exterior functions such as gathering places, art installations, amphitheaters, water features and shady resting zones. Students spend much time traveling and waiting between buildings, and these areas can be planned for an excellent pedestrian experience/outdoor activity.

    Respectfully,
    Loreen Arnold AIA LEED AP
    Adjunct Professor, CT Program

    • Zip Code: 20782
  24. Really hope we’ll get a fitness facility in the future. The Men’s Basketball team will be sorely missed, and the crowd of young male students who shoot hoops every day and socialize will miss the space. Some of my faculty swam daily, too.

    The community is gorgeous. The building which faces the train tracks is no matter. However, to appreciate the eyesore that the building may be for the neighborhood, please step across the street from the parking lot and take in the view. Falcon Hall is ugly, but it is small enough to be somewhat obscured by trees. Anything that can mask a big wall facing historic Takoma would be more considerate. Perhaps a lower “entry” at that corner? Not sure.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  25. Many low-income, first-gen-to-college CollegeTracks students attend or would like to attend the Takoma Park campus of Montgomery College. They deserve a first-class facility for the science and math studies that are among their best paths to meaningful jobs that support families. The current replacement plan will provide those facilities four years earlier than the previous plan. Please let’s not make them wait any longer than absolutely necessary for the education they deserve and that is a benefit to them, their families, and the community.

    Nancy Leopold
    Executive Director, CollegeTracks

    • Zip Code: 20814
  26. The specs show a difference in cost and number of years to build. Many people would agree that these are appealing changes in the current replacement plan. What I haven’t seen is how these changes impact class and lab sizes as well as space for important student’s resources such as the library and resource center. I’m sure there are other campus members that are looking into these details. I hope the college goes with a plan that will still provide adequate facilities 4 or 5 years from now.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  27. Hi, I am in favor of the “Current Replacement Plan” as it saves 2.30 million dollars. It also cuts the building timeline in half and it has flexibility in the design height. On the other side, it builds one less floor (from 4 to 3 floors). From Page 5 of the Exhibit, it can be seen that a new Fitness, New Library Commons, Replacing Resource Center. The Current Campus Plan also considers more green space between buildings. It will be new nice to know why the decrease on floors (from three to four).

    Thank you

    • Zip Code: 20851
  28. I am in favor of the current plan. It is better both in turns of utility and the overall aesthetic impact on the campus. The shorter construction time is a definite plus. It will be to the great benefit of students and faculty that we have centralized and modern STEM facilities at TPSS sooner rather than later.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  29. In looking at the plans’ specifics, it is clear that the current replacement plan represents the best effort to conserve limited education CIP funds and construct a building that is $2.3 million less expensive and can be constructed in 50% less time. The clear choice would appear to be the current plan, instead of the previous plan. After reviewing the considerable public input about this matter, the sticking point appears to be the fact that the current plan will place a three-story classroom building fronting Takoma Ave. The Takoma Avenue neighbors are influential, affluent, vocal and well organized; they oppose the current plan because they do not want to see a three-story classroom building across or down the street from their front doors. So who will end up paying the extra $2.3 million to construct the four-story building that would face Fenton Street? Probably the least powerful of all the key stakeholders will get stuck with the bill: Montgomery College students, who struggle now with tuition and fee costs. I take classes at Montgomery College; I see students who come late to class or sometimes miss entire classes because their work schedules demand priority over their class schedules. To possibly burden these students with extra costs because 8 – 10 neighbors on Takoma Avenue do not want to see a three-story building on their street is just plain wrong. I am very disappointed in the public officials who have chosen to side with the Takoma Avenue neighbors. I hope that Montgomery College will choose the current plan. It’s the right thing to do.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  30. We live in Takoma Park’s Ward 1 and prefer the use of the original master plan, putting the math & sci bldg near the Nunnally Student Center.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  31. After reading a bit about the original vs current plan, I support the original master plan to replace Science North and South as it does the least damage to the surrounding community and Belle Zeigler Park. Many residents are directly affected by the building plans (either because of where we live or our use of College facilities, or both) and are now on record as accepting the Science North-South siting option. It is the best plan for all involved.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  32. Current Plan.
    – better timeline for students
    – lower cost
    – better architectural compatibility
    – puts student needs first – that’s our business.

    • Zip Code: 21043
  33. My wife and I have lived at 506 Albany Ave., Takoma Park, since 1987. We are 1 block down Albany from the campus. It is a nice residential neighborhood that has always coexisted with the Takoma Park campus of Montgomery College.
    I support the college and feel it is an important educational resource for many people in the county. I do not use the college facilities myself. My children swam there for a couple years with the Fins team.
    I much prefer the previous plan of 4 stories as it sites the new building farther back from the residential street of Takoma Ave. Of all the streets affected, Takoma will bear the brunt.
    I have a background in construction and I cannot believe the construction of the original plan will take 2 times as long as the new one. You have stated the science students will have to go to another campus. Why demolish in 2 phases? I believe the county has gotten some bad construction advice. Please do not work with the people who totally screwed up the bus garage in Silver Spring. That was criminal.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  34. Hello,

    I am a member of the Community Coalition for Science and Health. I am writing to let you know I favor the previous Facilities Master Plan.

    This is because all students at Montgomery College deserve a common experience, as promised by the college. Germantown and Rockville have fitness facilities that are being maintained and open to the public; Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus and community deserve the same.

    The community has spoken on this a number of times. This effort by the college to “stack the deck” by encouraging faculty and staff to submit public comments in favor of the administration puts uncalled-for pressure on them and undercuts the very concept of “community input.”

    Thank you,
    Fran Teplitz

    • Zip Code: 20902
  35. I am a member of the Community Coalition for Science and Health. I am in favor of the previous Facilities Master Plan insofar as it provides facilities for physical fitness for students, staff, and neighbors.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  36. I’m a member of the Community Coalition for Science and Health who supports the previous Master Facilities Plan. I believe that the college can retain its fitness facilities and also have an updated science building at the same time. Note that the comparison chart provided by Montgomery College does not address this difference in the plans and is focused solely on comparing what is more favorable in the new plan. As a Montgomery County taxpayer and homeowner in East Silver Spring, I will be directly impacted by the construction at the TP/SS campus and hope that the college will take my opinion and others in the surrounding area into account when making this decision.

    • Zip Code: 20910
  37. Current Plan – I support the Current plan because MC students at Takoma Park campus can be in a building that meets the most current Building Codes and has the most up-to-date technology for safety features. Teaching and student safety are of highest priority in my mind. Also, a shorter construction time may reduce inconvenience to neighbors.

    Sharmila Pradhan
    Environmental Safety Manager

    • Zip Code: 20878
  38. I am a member of the Community Coalition for Science and Health, and I oppose tearing down Falcon Hall. I have been swimming there for almost 30 years, and I value having this in my community. I certainly understand the need for updated math and science facilities, and hope that you can find a way to do both. It is unfair that the other 2 MC campuses have fitness facilities and that Takoma Park would not. I implore you to find a solution that meets the needs of the students, and Montgomery County residents. I am in favor of the previous Master Facilities Plan. Thank you.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  39. Dear all collegiates and scholars
    My name is Enagnon Missihoun. I’m a proud alumni of Montgomery College. I have graduated in 2016 in biotechnology and biomanufacturing. My journey at montgomery college was well accomplished with vibrant and motivated scholars even though the quality and resources are not equal on all three campus that I have attended.
    Before i pronounce myself on the choice that I made, I would like to make a revelation regarding my experience in commuting throughout the three campus for my classes. Even though I was resident of Takoma park at nearly 15 minutes away from the campus, I took all or almost all of my science lab classes on Rockville campus and germantown campus while the english classes were taken on Takoma Park campus. But why this personal choice? I did that because I realize that rockville and germantown campus bioscience lab were way far more equipped than those in Takoma park. A s a really passionate student of bioscience, I was expecting higher, I wanted to discover something new! Then I chose the biotech program at germantown regardless of the distance.
    Meanwhile, I took my chemistry lab in takoma park campus in my last semester, and I can tell you how big was the difference in term of technology and resources available to student.
    I’m pointing this difference out, not to be off of topic, but to be close enough of the feeling that I have at the moment knowing that Takoma park campus will have soon a state-of -the-art, next generation, modern bioscience building as my lovely one in germantown. Not only it will reduce for students as I was, the cost and time associated with commuting, but I will increase and diversify at large the learning opportunity for surrounding students.
    I would like to sincerely thank all the leaders, collegiates, and scholars who have worked so actively in providing these two projects master plan. Without further due, I would like to weigh in the con and pro for each plan.
    I would like to chose the replacement plan as it is cost effective, short-term, but I’m afraid that demolishing the falcon building for the sake of these pleasant and highly desirable labs would however pose in the future a treat for classroom availability as falcon is mainly used as classroom. However, choosing the first plan would delay the project with a higher cost while the need is current for the community.
    To overcome this burden, I would suggest that the replacement plan could be adopted but the design could be revised to include most classrooms, conference, meeting and colloquies hall similarly to the germantown design. I can wait to see this happen soon!
    Sincerely,
    Thank you!
    Missihoun

    • Zip Code: 20912
  40. As a current Montgomery College TP/SS Employee, Part-Time Faculty Member, former MC Student/Athlete and Montgomery County Resident, I respectfully offer the following to our Community with regards to the Modernization of the TP/SS Campus.
    Our students are our mission and new and upgraded facilities for them to utilize is vital to that mission.
    As One College with 3 Campuses and Off Campus sites as well, we strive for the Common Student Experience at all locations.
    The current Master Plan would eliminate at least temporarily some of those experiences particularly in Health and Fitness instruction which are important life skills which many students never formally learn.
    The previous Master Plan enables us to keep health and fitness facilities available to students, and continue to service the local community needs and obviously would cost more time and money.
    I respectfully ask our Administrators, Board of Directors and Elected officials to consider both options and consider the needs of the Common Student Experience in their discussions.
    `

    • Zip Code: 20910
  41. I am co-chair of the Community Coalition for Science and Health. We submitted a petition signed by over 130 residents supporting the retention of Falcon Hall. I support the previous Facilities Master Plan and am committed to developing on a solution that works for everyone. Unfortunately, the college – as demonstrated by this recent letter sent to selected persons, including faculty, staff, and other supporters of its plan – does not appear to want to work with the community in a cooperative manner.
    There have been three community conversations concerning a new math and science building and the proposed demolition of Falcon Hall. The college has heard in no uncertain terms from the community that we want the Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus to have upgraded science and math facilities and to retain the fitness facilities that it already has. No government, taxpayer-supported agency tears down a multi-million-dollar health and fitness facility at a public school. A good architect could design attractive structures that would encompass both math and science and athletic facilities and meet everyone’s needs. Master plans are not written in stone; they are just outlines to be worked with.
    The previous Facilities Master Plan provided for new science facilities and the renovation of Falcon Hall, and that is the plan we support. The other Montgomery College campuses all have both science and math and fitness facilities. Maintenance and upgrading of fitness facilities continue at Germantown and Rockville. The college touts its “common” experience for all students at all campuses, but then says that the Takoma Park/Silver Spring students – the poorest in the system – and the surrounding community do not deserve these facilities. The critical role of exercise in good health and life is recognized by health practitioners and educators everywhere, even on MC’s Web pages. “There is now mounting evidence about the risks of sedentary behavior and the value of exercise in helping prevent a variety of diseases and obesity,” a document entitled “Careers in Exercise Science and Health Fitness” states. http://www.montgomerycollege.edu/Departments/heesperv/ The Health Enhancement, Exercise Science and Physical Education Department encourages students to “join us for our Student Recreation hours on all three campuses. All of our facilities are fully equipped with a variety of equipment to ensure that you will get a great workout.” Cms.montgomerycollege.edu/heespe But these are empty glossy words from a college which has neglected Falcon Hall for years.
    And no one should be fooled by the claimed “savings” of $2 million. The revised master plan does not include in its cost or the time either the renovation or replacement of Science North, which is part of the previous plan. What will that cost, when will it be done, and how will it be paid for? Or is it the campus’ “white elephant”?
    This latest request for comments is just another attempt by the college to stack the deck in favor of the current master plan by adding comments from the college’s faculty and staff and others selectively chosen by the college to favor its plan. For the second time in a month, college officials have sent an e-mail to faculty and staff asking them to submit statements in support of the college. This was first done prior to the third community conversation when it was clear the community was not buying the college’s plan. Many of these people did not participate in the earlier conversations, and this puts unacceptable pressure on employees.
    Community members have commented after every single one of these meetings, and the majority of the comments were in opposition to the college’s plan. It is time for the college president and board to work with the community with good faith and exhibit some flexibility during the design process. A little vision and a lot less stubbornness on the college’s part would help a great deal. The college’s behavior to this point has left nothing but a sour taste in many of our mouths for an institution that we would like to support. There is no reason to pit the neighborhood and taxpayers against the college. It bodes ill for both.

    • Zip Code: 20910
  42. I am a Takoma Park resident and am strongly opposed to tearing down Falcon Hall as part of the math and science renovation project. A campus devoted to Health Sciences should absolutely have a health and fitness facility. There is no equitable reason that the other two MC campuses keep their fitness facilities while the Takoma Park campus loses theirs. Please consider a plan that allows for renovation of outdated science labs while maintaining your commitment to serving the health needs of your students and the community.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  43. I am a North Takoma Park resident. I support the plan labeled the Previous Replacement Plan above. My family chose to move to this neighborhood because we like the mix of residential and urban elements: parks and lawns, Metro access and thriving, multicultural businesses in Silver Spring and Takoma Park. And the proximity of the college was a big part of that decision. I understand and highly value the mission of community colleges. I was a grant writer at Portland CC in Oregon, and I taught in the Montgomery College English Department in 2003. The original master plan to replace Science North and South is the plan that hews closest to the spirit and the letter of the 2002 agreement whereby historic Takoma Park, the city, and county were to be involved in a meaningful way in decision-making that affected the College’s neighbors.

    • Zip Code: 20912-4126
  44. The students at the Takoma Park/ Silver Spring campus deserve to have all the benefits of an updated building, but this long overdue expansion and modernization of the Math and Science Building should not come at the expense of this beautiful historic neighborhood.

    As a North Takoma resident, I believe a large building should not be located on Takoma Avenue. The location of the building should stay where it is, facing the train tracks and Fenton Avenue, away from any homes or the Belle Zeigler Park.

    I support the Previous Master Plan.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  45. I am a member of the Community Coalition for Science and Health, and I support the previous Facilities Master Plan. I am also a swimmer who uses the pool at Falcon Hall 3-4 times every week.
    It is totally unacceptable to terminate the athletic department by demolishing Falcon Hall without ANY alternative plan for rehabilitation or replacement of such an important facility. It is counter-productive in a time of out-of-control rates of diabetes and obesity that every chance would not be made to provide an opportunity to encourage and maintain a healthy lifestyle! It is obvious that the College came up ith a plan and THEN initiated a series of “Community Conversations.” THAT is putting the cart before the horse! “Community Conversations” were not the same as community input. Montgomery College is not just a college; it’s a “Community” college supported by the taxpayers. It has always had a commitment to the community to provide a athletic facility that could be used by the college and as an affordable alternative for the surrounding community. Falcon Hall is an important part of my life, and the life of the community. Don’t take it away from those of us who use it and need it! There are other solutions to meet everyone’s needs.

    • Zip Code: 20910
  46. I strongly support the current replacement plan. It meets the needs of the community and students and is a practical solution to the issues facing the campus facilities.

    • Zip Code: 20910
  47. Montgomery College (MC) students deserve a 21st century education and the College needs to modernize and expand its science and math facilities to make that possible. The choice we have been asked to comment on is: where should this expansion take place.
    Fortunately, there is a win-win solution: return to the College’s Master Plan of 2006-2016. It calls for modernization of the science and math buildings at their current location. This proposal is supported by: Takoma Park Mayor, Kate Stewart; North Takoma City Council Member, Peter Kovar; Montgomery County Council Members Marc Elrich, Tom Hucker, George Leventhal, and Hans Riemer; Chair of the Montgomery County Planning Commission, Casey Anderson; Neighbors United and the Community Coalition for Science and Health, community organizations which represent families in both Takoma Park and east Silver Spring.
    For many years, the college supported the 2006-2016 Master Plan but suddenly abandoned and replaced it, unfortunately, without consulting the City of Takoma Park or the community. The College proposed, instead, to demolish Falcon Hall and build a new mega-facility– 134,000 square feet — along Takoma Avenue around the intersection with Fenton Street directly across from Belle Ziegler Park.
    Larger than the Nunley Center for Student Services, this mega-facility would dwarf and overwhelm Takoma Park’s historic neighborhood. It would require multi-year demolition and major construction with all its attendant dirt, airborne particulates, and diesel fumes across from Belle Ziegler Park. It would demolish the gym and pool facilities in Falcon Hall that are currently used by both students and the community.
    Unfortunately, the outline of the two plans on the College’s web site suggests that, except for the location, all the other details of the expansion such as design or the time needed for planning and construction have already been decided and are set in stone. But, as Takoma City Council Member Peter Kovar points out in his recent web posting, after the selection of the location, those details will be discussed in a community charrette process which the College has publicly endorsed. Indeed, at the June 6th “community conversation” an MC official acknowledged that the extended time proposed for design and construction under the 2006-2016 Master Plan is subject to revision.
    It is not clear what universe of people was asked to participate in this latest round of comments, but, unfortunately, it left out many of the neighborhood stakeholders most affected by the College’s expansion plans. More than half the members of the two community organizations who have been most active in prior “community conversations” and who submitted their emails as requested, never received the college’s invitation to participate. Moreover, there is no way of knowing whether the comments being solicited on the web site are from stakeholders of the affected communities or are instead from employees, vendors, and alumni from other communities whose support the college is actively soliciting.
    The 2006-2016 Master Plan proposal which the community has rallied around is not the preferred choice of many residents. Many believe the college property on Burlington and Georgia Avenue would be the ideal location, but we were told that option is off the table. Our proposal to return to the 2006-2016 Master Plan is a compromise, an effort to find a middle ground that will build consensus and cooperation between the college and the community. We hope the College will embrace it. I live in the Historic District of Takoma Park.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  48. ALCON:

    I have been a member of the Montomgery College pool community since I was a small child. My little brother and I lived in the neighborhood, and we would walk to the pool during the winter to swim to supplement our summer swim team. Now that I am an adult the pool is my second job. Montgomery College has been a positive part of my community my entire life, I have played on the tennis courts, biked around campus swam at the pool all of which were part of my health as a child. Now I play a roll in serving our community and students at the local pool. I do not support the colleges current plan.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  49. Two community organizations (Neighbors United and Community Coalition for Science and Health), the City of Takoma Park, the Montgomery Country Planning Board, and four Montgomery County Council members all support the development of new science and math facilities at the current locations of Science South and Science North along with the renovation of Falcon Hall as a modern fitness facility. I support this stakeholder consensus as it will create up-to-date instructional facilities while minimizing impact on the community at large. The demolition and reconstruction of the Falcon Hall site, on the other hand, will maximize impact on the community through both construction and operation of laboratory facilities at this location. Previous experience with the College during the renovation of P-3 and P-4 has shown that the College management has a track record of failing to mitigate construction impacts (noise, stormwater, dust, diesel exhaust, night lighting, litter, worker smoking) on the community and the Falcon Hall location is particularly unsuited due to the high degree of potential impact from a major demolition and construction effort at this location. In addition, material I have recently obtained through the Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) shows that the science programs at this campus handle a substantial amount of hazardous materials. This includes materials that are defined by federal and state regulations as flammable, toxic, corrosive, and/or chemically reactive. These materials have no place in a facility located across the street from residences and a public park. In contrast, using these materials at a location across from railroad tracks with appropriate ventilation will mitigate the risks posed to the community. At this point, I strongly urge the College to move forward with the design of new science and math buildings at the current locations of Science North and Science South. As the College correctly noted during the community conversations, this should include charrettes that deal with design issues such as aesthetics, height, footprint, and setback now that the location has been decided.
    I feel that I also must respond to the College’s characterization of the City cancelling the “working group”. The City was justified in this action for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, the necessity for a working group was rendered moot as portrayed in Provost Stewart’s email of May 30, 2017 where he noted that President Pollard had already decided on a design and needed help in convincing the community to adopt her preferred design. Second, the composition of the workgroup was not limited to stakeholders in the siting process but was weighted toward the College community. There is absolutely no reason why students and faculty should be considered stakeholders in a siting decision. While students and faculty do have a stake in obtaining a new instructional facility, it is difficult to see why they would have a stake in its location. This is akin to asking the public to comment on the selection of textbooks for a course or the furniture layout of a laboratory – items in which the public does not have a stake but students and faculty do. Third, the College has not entered into the consultation process envisioned in the 2002 quadripartite agreement. This should have been the starting process for any meaningful discussion.
    The College has also failed to provide the community with the information needed to decide on the merits of two competing proposals and the exclusion of others. Despite repeated requests, no information was provided to support the costs, phasing and duration of construction for any location, whether Falcon Hall, Science North and South, Burlington Avenue, or alternative West Campus locations. Thus, we are left with unsubstantiated assertions, some of which are plainly implausible, regarding these important topics. The College also failed to respond to a request regarding information on chemicals used in its laboratory operations. The only information provided was a fact sheet “Instruction Lab Operations at Montgomery College” which clearly was intended to show that lab chemicals used here were benign. This is contrary to information that was obtained through the MPIA request including showing that the College uses (inter alia) a chemical that the federal government has concluded is a “probable human carcinogen” in addition to chemicals that are high flammable and chemicals that could be used to construct improvised explosive devices. It is difficult to see how a workgroup, regardless of its composition, could arrive at a recommendation without basic information regarding costs, phasing, construction duration, and health and safety.
    Despite the fact that the Science North and South locations are not ideal for the community, in the spirit of compromise , I support the community consensus of the Science North and South location and recommend that we move forward expeditiously with design issues (aesthetics, height, footprint, setback) so that the students can receive the quality instruction they deserve.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  50. I am a member of the Community Coalition for Science and Health and live 1/2 block from the college. I support the previous Facilities Master Plan. All of the students, faculty, staff and surrounding communities deserve equal facilities, including fitness centers. Falcon Hall was promised to the community as a resource when it was built. There is no reason the college can’t have new science facilities and a fitness facility, just like the Germantown and Rockville campuses do.

    • Zip Code: 20910
  51. I live across Takoma Avenue from the Commons Building and am one of the closest neighbors to the controversial Falcon Hall site. Although you neglected to send me an invitation to comment on this website, you may remember me from the second Community Conversation, where I read a statement on behalf of my neighborhood, that is, the residential neighborhood that will be torn apart by your construction plans. In my statement I called upon you to honor both your stated intention to be a good neighbor and the legal agreement you signed in 2002 in which you committed to a collaborative process with the neighborhood, by immediately taking the demolition of Falcon Hall off the table. I urged you, instead of trying to find excuses to shove your unacceptable unilateral plan down our collective throats, to work with the neighborhood toward a mutually-agreeable solution. No new information has surfaced since May 9 to make the Falcon Hall site any more palatable to us, so my position on the matter has not changed: the corner of Takoma Avenue and Fenton Street is not an appropriate place to put a tall, hulking, noisy, monolith; the proper site for the new Math and Science building is either on the portion of Fenton Street next to the Nunley Building or somewhere on the western campus, where you advertised all expansion (read new construction) would occur.

    I am disappointed and angry that, after the Community Conversations indicated strong consensus among both those most affected by the plans and those most expert in planning that the Falcon Hall site was an unacceptable option, you chose to seek “more input.” You’d heard from Neighbors United, from the Community Coalition for Science and Health, from the City of Takoma Park, from the Montgomery County Planning Board, from Councilmembers Hucker, Leventhal, Elrich and Riemer, all urging you to do the reasonable and right thing and embrace a solution that does not damage the residential character of the neighborhood in which you are located. Those groups and people had, together, put hundreds of hours into understanding the options and the consequences of those options, yet you needed “more input.” I myself have spent 75-100 hours just since September going to meetings, doing research and writing, and I resent that, once again, I am spending my evening penning another document that you will discount. As if none of that ever happened, in describing the pros and cons of the two sites so that respondents have the background to “vote,” nowhere do you mention that the demolition of Falcon Hall is strongly opposed by the surrounding neighborhood. It’s clear that the input you seek is that which, no matter the authority or standing of the source, supports your unilateral decision-making process.

    I am also disappointed and angry at the way your invitation to comment misrepresented both the choices before us and the City’s attempt to work with you in good faith. I was reminded of the wonderful diet soda taste-test satire that aired during the first season of Saturday Night Live. In that skit the great Laraine Newman chooses Sugar Free Zing over the unidentified purple liquid, saying “I’ll never have to drink phlegm again!” You’ve paid the consultants, you’ve done the estimates, and you have an agenda. It’s clear you can make any option you don’t like look like phlegm. For months we have been seeking transparency: objective feasibility studies, requirements-based designs, and understandable bases of estimate for both construction costs and schedules. We asked you to join with us in studying win-win options with the help of disinterested parties. Instead you proposed a “working group” in which no new information could be brought to the table! That is not the working group that the community has been asking for, and you are disingenuous if you say it is; that is a kangaroo court of a working group designed to rubber stamp your unilateral decision.

    Right now your campus is surrounded by disappointed and angry people, but it doesn’t have to be that way, and it’s not too late for you to mend your fences. We care about your students and want them to be well-served. We would like to be advocating for them, not opposing you. Commit to work collaboratively with us and be a real part of this neighborhood. Work with us for the win-win, and we will go to Rockville and Annapolis not to fight you but to fight for you.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  52. I have lived on Takoma Avenue for more than 15 years. Both of my daughters graduated from Montgomery College and we have great appreciation for the institution. The house we live in is 100 years old. The current planned expansion under the new plan is totally out of character for our historic neighborhood and should be located as called for under the 2006-2016 Master Plan.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  53. I strongly support the Current plan. My reasons are cost savings and the significantly shorter time frame to complete the project, thereby lessening negative impact on students and neighbors.

    Thank you for all the recent Community Conversations and the opportunity to make my opinions heard.

    • Zip Code: 20910
  54. As a local college student who has taken a course at Montgomery College and who has many friends that have attended MC, I support the 4-year plan. The needs of Montgomery College’s students outweighs the concerns put forward by the Mose that live right next to the campus. Students shouldn’t be forced to wait an extra 4 years to have heir facilities improve.

    • Zip Code: 20910
  55. I prefer the current plan as it takes less time, less money, and offers flexibility in design height. I appreciate the good stewardship of time and funds. I know MC is a viable option for many students in the county – it’s time to move forward with this project. Thank you.

    • Zip Code: 20901
  56. I am strongly in favor of the current plan. First it can be implemented in significantly less time, placing a much smaller construction burden on the surrounding neighbors, especially in East Silver Spring and getting MC Students into classrooms that fit their current curriculum needs much faster. Second, cost estimates for the “Current” plan are more than $2 million less than the previous plan, helping to support of goal raising fees as little as possible for students. I value all MC does for our local community and for the whole county. I feel strongly that the cost savings should be to the students’ and community’s benefit.

    • Zip Code: 20901
  57. I support the current plan. It would serve MC students better because of the shorter build time. The need for a STEM building is great and the sooner the better. The issues in Science North need to be addressed as well.

    Owen Powers
    Manager, Science Learning Center

    • Zip Code: 20815
  58. I’ve lived in Silver Spring for about 15 years and STRONGLY support the “Current” plan. It can be implemented in significantly less time than the previous plan, placing a much smaller construction burden on the surrounding neighbors. Also, the cost estimates for the “Current” plan are more than $2 million less than the previous plan, helping to support of goal raising fees as little as possible for students.

    • Zip Code: 20910
  59. I strongly support the current replacement plan to modernize Montgomery College’s Math and Science Building. MC students are our future and in order to stay at the cutting edge, MC must have state of the art equipment, technology, resources, and facilities. The current buildings and equipment are old and antiquated. It is imperative that MC provides its students with state-of-the-art resources, materials, and facilities so that they can matriculate to four institutions with the knowledge and resources they need to be successful!
    Thank you Dr. Pollard and the design team!

    • Zip Code: 20912
  60. As a science major, I am compelled to stand for the improvement of structures and staff that will augment the advancement of science.

    • Zip Code: 20854
  61. The Previous Plan is my clear choice. Here are some of my thoughts:
    – The Previous plan retains the exercise facility (with upgrades to infrastructure) AND also creates the up-to-date math and science building, which is a goal I, and almost everyone commenting, agree about. The Current plan would destroy the exercise building, and cause students to be without a health and wellness facility, perhaps forever, but definitely for 10 years at least. With the previous plan, both health and science academics can still be taught during the construction process.

    – The arguments about finances and length of time to complete the two options don’t reflect a direct comparison. It seems as if many supporters of the Current plan think it will cost less and be done faster, when in reality the Science North building is not addressed in the Current plan (if it were, there would be more $ and more time). The replacement of Science North and Science South was the original goal, but now Science North is not even mentioned in the Current plan.

    – If Falcon Hall is not demolished, but instead has its infrastructure strengthened, it can remain as a buffer to the Takoma Avenue neighborhood, and a 4- story math/science building would not loom over the neighborhood.

    – The TP/SS MC campus in particular serves many immigrants who may not have had the opportunity to learn to swim as a child. The college already has the facility to teach swimming. Why take that away? Instead, promote swimming and exercise, and get credit for providing it. Continue to provide the gym for basketball, both for the basketball team, and for any interested students, staff and community members.

    – Exercise helps students concentrate better on studies. Exercise is not a replacement for academic study, but a companion activity, and a training activity to help people stay healthy year-after-year. The Rockville MC campus recently displayed a sign advertising the open hours for women students to play basketball – we could promote the same at TP/SS MC. Should TP/SS MC be the only campus without exercise facilities?

    – As I understand it, this past fall (2016) was the first semester when a PE class was NOT required for graduation at TP/SS MC. I have heard that there were TP/SS MC students who wanted to take beginning swimming last fall, but were unable to take it because financial aid would no longer cover it. This change has already prevented some students from learning how to swim while studying at MC.

    – I am part of the Community Coalition for Science and Health. I support the Previous Facilities plan.

    – Thanks for the opportunity to give my comments.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  62. Alumni and SS neighbor – I think the current plan, (3 stories/4 years/$85,628,000) while the time and cost will surely extend beyond as usually these things do, present a more efficient solution.

    • Zip Code: 20903
  63. I Support the Current Replacement Plan. The plan appears to allow for less construction time and cost. In addition the Current Replacement plan is a single phase plan.

    • Zip Code: 20866
  64. As a resident of Takoma Park and a member of The Community Coalition for Science and Math, I support the previous plan that provides improved science facilities as well as a continuation of athletic facilities. Even if the cost of the new plan really is less, how can it justify the destruction of the swimming pool and gym? Montgomery College has stated that all 3 campuses should provide common student services, including athletics.

    Also the president of Montgomery College has encouraged comments from only students and faculty and not so much from residents of the neighborhood, or other people who may not support her position.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  65. When I compare the Previous and the Current Replacement plans, I fail to comprehend how a 4 story building can provide the same 134,000 gross square feet as a 3 story building. For that reason, combined with 4 additional years and an additional $2.3M dollars for a 4 story building that provides no additional usable square feet, a 3 story solution would seem to be a no-brainer.

    It is time to move forward expeditiously, hopefully with the vast preponderance of the balance in direct support of the educational needs of our students, that is our reason to be at Montgomery College.

    Michael J. Dean

    • Zip Code: 22202
  66. As a resident of Takoma Park and a member of The Community Coalition for Science and Math, and a former English professor at Montgomery College, I oppose the new plan and support the previous plan that retains Falcon Hall with its athletic facilities. The college can have the improved science and math facilities without destroying the worthwhile gym and swimming pool. Though I was a student and a professor at Montgomery College, and my daughter attended day-care there, my longest association with the college has been as a swimmer at the pool. It is dear to my heart.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  67. I favor the PREVIOUS facilities plan. I am a parent of a current full-time student at the Montgomery College Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus. And I am a member of the Community Coalition for Science and Health. For more than 10 years, I have been among the many community members who swim at the pool at Falcon Hall. The community has already spoken about its desire to keep Falcon Hall. It is shocking that the college is still considering tearing down Falcon Hall and its physical education/fitness facility. ALL Montgomery College students deserve a common experience, as promised by the college. Germantown and Rockville have fitness facilities that are being maintained and are open to the public; Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus and community deserve the same. When Falcon Hall is destroyed, it will not be replaced for current or future students. How can the college do this, when this campus is the Health Sciences center? Where is the smart thinking about what health is, and how the students at this campus deserve it?

    • Zip Code: 20912
  68. Please go with the current plan, rather than mess with what’s good! You can always revisit the issue in the future. But from my standpoint, the here-and-now current plan is both quicker to implement and cheaper overall. Let’s just run with it!

    • Zip Code: 20910
  69. As a Montgomery College employee, I have reviewed all of the data (all of it is public) that demonstrates that new STEM facilities are desperately needed at our TP/SS campus, and that Falcon Hall has aged and deteriorated so much that it will not be possible to fund the remodeling that is required for contemporary athletic and fitness functions. The Math & Science Center project proposed in the 2013 Facilities Master Plan can be built, occupied and put into use for students 2 to 4 years sooner than can the two-phase building proposed in the 2006 Facilities Master Plan. This accelerated opening will be of major benefit to our community’s students.

    This 2013 strategy also provides a strong case for the construction of a new Health and Fitness building on the campus, though it will be difficult to fund a new athletic facility or the much needed renovations to Falcon Hall.

    As a 26 year resident of east Silver Spring, and a parent with two children who have attended Montgomery College, it is clear to me that our community and many thousands of students have greatly benefited in recent years by the education that Montgomery College provides at the TP/SS campus. We need to support MC in continuing to provide and to update these educational services, so that graduates are well trained to succeed in our County’s job market.

    The Math & Science Center building proposed in the 2013 Facilities Master Plan can be designed in such a way that it will have little or no impact on the neighboring residences or Historic District. The building can step down near Takoma Avenue to only 1 or 2 stories tall, which would be little or no taller than the existing Falcon Hall is at that end. The new building may sit little or no closer to residences than is the existing Falcon Hall, if the neighbors allow the building to be taller on the north end, campus side. The building is on the railroad tracks side of the campus and will only be visible from a few houses, most of which will just catch a glimpse of the narrow, low end of the building.

    The few neighbors who resist the 2013 strategy have, in fact, been unable to demonstrate that this building will in any way negatively impact the Historic District or the neighborhood.

    It is not reasonable to allow a few neighbors to force the College to build a less functional building, and to take two to four years longer to build it. Such a strategy will greatly increase the construction costs and delay the use of the new facility. It’s a poor strategy encouraged by a short-sighted few who seem to think that they should gain the benefits of growth in Montgomery County while being sheltered from any changes near their homes. Some of those few neighbors have been heard to say that they will not allow MC to build even the amount of square footage that was approved in the 2006 Facilities Master Plan. It is becoming apparent that their objective is to block any growth in square footage on the original campus. Such a pointless freeze on square footage would be a disaster for the students who attend MC, the Silver Spring/Takoma Park community, and Montgomery County.

    Montgomery College serves many students who do not have the financial capacity to attend other colleges. These students need the opportunity to be educated and trained in sciences and technologies that will be essential for future employment. As one community, we will benefit from educating all of our youth, and the 2013 Facilities Master Plan strategy serves that purpose best.

    Thank you.

    Jamie Karn

    • Zip Code: 20910
  70. I am a current full-time student at Montgomery College Takoma campus, and I do not want Falcon Hall destroyed. It’s unfair that students like me won’t have access to the equivalent facilities as students in Rockville. That is a biased and inequitable decision. I strongly favor the previous Facilities Master Plan.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  71. I see a lot of people supporting the “current” plan because they say it will cost less and take less time. This may or may not turn out to be the case once the project gets underway. That’s why I want to reiterate that the most important consideration should be what the lasting results will be, not what’s quickest or even what may (or may not) be a little cheaper. Also, I simply don’t see the point building a new science and math building in place of Science South and Falcon Hall while leaving Science North intact. What will Science North’s new purpose be? It’s designed to be a science building (although rather poorly). Most of its rooms are dedicated science teaching labs. If the building is to be repurposed, then it will need to be renovated anyway. If it’s not renovated, how will it be used?

    It’s obvious that the college needs to replace 3 buildings but it can only afford to replace 2. By removing Falcon Hall and leaving Science North intact, the college reduces what it can offer students and the community. Of course it will be able to offer modern, perhaps even state-of-the-art science learning facilities, but it would be able to do that with either plan. If the college goes with the “current” plan it will no longer be able to offer athletics, at least not the sports and activities it offers now. If athletics will no longer be a priority of the college, then so be it, but again, Science North will have to be renovated or replaced at some point regardless of which plan is followed. Instead of reducing what the college offers and everyone scratching their heads about how we will use a science building for some other purpose without renovating it, or perhaps replacing it some time in the next decade or so, I say we go with the “previous” plan which replaces the buildings that need to be replaced and renovates the athletic facilities that need to be renovated. This keeps intact what the college offers while enhancing it instead reducing it.

    • Zip Code: 29012
  72. considering the advantages of the current replacement plan like project time line, and flexibility in height and 4 years earlier delivery of interdisciplinary courses, the current replacement plan is far better than the previous.

    • Zip Code: 20850
  73. Thank you for setting up this website for us to make comments. And thank you for the opportunities for community engagement through out the community meetings as well.
    As the parent of an MC graduate and community member, I support the current plan over the previous plan. My primary reason is because of shorter time frame of construction disruption for the students and the neighborhood. It seems like better and more efficient use of the space and money. While I understand some folks prefer to keep the first plan (keeps the construction farther away from the neighbors, and keeps the pool), I understand that Falcon Hall currently has 5+ Million dollars in deferred maintenance.. Which means there will be some time in the future when/if the money can be found, it will most likely be taken down anyway. To my knowledge, when it is taken down, it is highly unlikely that the pool will be replaced, so it seems more prudent to just take that building down now as the maintenance issues are only going to get worse in the future. A new facility has been approved and the monies approved in DTSS which will have up to date swimming facilities for the neighborhood.
    Thanks again for the opportunity to voice my opinions regarding the upgrades to the Takoma Park Campus. We all want the best for our students and our community. Thank you!

    • Zip Code: 20912
  74. Thank you for all your dedicated leadership on this challenging project! I strongly favor the current replacement plan — to demo Science South and Falcon Hall with a timeline of 4 years. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to be of help.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  75. Sorry to comment it so late due to a busy schedule. Even though I never attend any classes from MC Takoma Park, I am happy to express after going through the plan. The perspective on the both layouts plan has their own special of the differential. It seems the difference between the previous and current replacement plan is build for the best study environment to support the need to meet the higher expectation and improved learning environment. I believe MC always do the best option of the best quality standard to expand the health environment and higher education in the community. Good luck and thank you.

    • Zip Code: 20877
  76. I support a return to the 2006-2016 Facilities Master Plan. This 06-16 Master Plan would position a larger building FARTHER from the Residential parts of the neighborhood and the Park. It would preserve the Pool and athletic facilities in Falcon Hall.
    Our local Soccer teams use the park throughout the year and I have used the pool in the past. As a former ‘returning student’ of the College, I support renewing facilities, but think our neighborhood is essential to our way of life. Sam Abbott stopped the intrusion of Rte 95 through Takoma Park and I would strongly oppose more encroachment by another Mega Institution. Keep our neighborhoods residential and build mores stories underground. After all, as a 30+ year resident, we are the ones paying for this infrastructure.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  77. I support the “Current Plan” It can be implemented in significantly less time, easing the burden on the surrounding community, and it MC Students into classrooms much faster. It also saves $2 million. Let’s keep MC affordable.

    • Zip Code: 20910
  78. Hello Dr. Pollard and Everyone. First, I would like to say that I have been employed at Montgomery Community College since 2007. I have seen much progress since Dr. Pollard took the helm. Her dedication and authenticity to student progress is remarkable. The I have not seen asbeen tethe progress am proud to be a Professor at Montgomery Community College. Current Replacement Plan  3 stories  Rooftop air handling units  Gross square feet–134,000  Total project cost–$85,628,000  Single phase  Demo Science South and Falcon Hal Build the Entire Building  Project timeline–4 years  Design–2 years  Build–2 years  Delivers interdisciplinary building 4 years earlier  Need width to lower the height— replaces Falcon Hall  Flexibility in design height

    • Zip Code: 20877-2243
    1. Hello Dr. Pollard and Everyone.
      Whoops!! The previous comment was posted prematurely. I tried to delete but to no avail. Anyway, in continuing, I have been employed at Montgomery Community College since 2007. Since Dr. Pollard has been our president, I have seen much progress. Her dedication, authenticity, and genuine concern for students and learner achievement is truly remarkable. I like the Current Replacement Plan. I think the key phrase in my decision- making was the “flexibility in design height.” However, whatever plan the college decides will be fine with me, as long as it means progress!

      Sincerely,
      Essie Taylor MSN, RN
      Health Sciences Instructor

      • Zip Code: 20877-2243
  79. I cannot believe that so many of these comments are based solely on the need for modernization ASAP and there is little regard for the community that has welcomed the college and it’s students since 1950. The fact that these comments have ‘weight’ in the final decision Dr. Pollard will make, saddens me.

    The modernization should have been done years ago. The science building was left to deteriorate and the students and faculty, I’m sure, have had enough. As a North Takoma resident and a member of Neighbors United I believe it is absolutely necessary for the students to have the most up-to-date technologies offered in a safe and modern environment BUT there is absolutely no reason why the college should destroy a beautiful historic community because there is suddenly a rush to have a new building. We should not have to pay the price for their postponement to upgrade their facilities.

    I live on Takoma Avenue and the college buildings across from my home are low and set back from the street. There are trees and land used as an additional buffer. The homes on Takoma Avenue and nearby are located in a historic district. Most of the homes were built in the early 1900’s. My own home is 111 years old and I have lived here for 36 years.

    The college should grow, but not in the direction of a community and neighborhood established well over 100 years ago. The Previous Master Plan should be used so the new building will face the train tracks and not interfere with our neighborhood or our beautiful Belle Zeigler Park.

    There is no question the modernization of the Math and Science Building must be done. There is the question of where it will be done. NOT in my front yard, please!

    The Previous Master Plan should be used.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  80. The swimming pool and other physical fitness facilities must be preserved so that while students are studying science and math they can remain healthy and not become morbidly obese like so many Americans–even some of those in charge of this renovation. What good is a degree if you don’t live to benefit from it?

    • Zip Code: 20171
  81. I am a graduate of Montgomery College as is my sister. My sister and I have lived on Takoma Avenue for most of our upbringing. We played in Belle Ziegler park as children and now our children play there too. As nurses, we know that years of dirty air from heavy construction and demolition across from the park will be a health hazard for our residential neighborhood and especially children in the park. Any child with asthma will have to stay away. The compromise solution to locate the development at the current location of the science and math buildings is far better and far more healthy.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  82. I prefer the current plan. It is a little cheaper and it will save 4 years of completion time, so students can take advantage sooner.
    -Alumni Class of 2005

    • Zip Code: 20902
  83. As a student living in Silver Spring, where the TP/SS is the closest and most convenient campus. I have attended All three Campuses and have taken chemistry classes at the new Rockville science center. The SN and SS labs are very outdated, almost all the equipment is rusty and almost deadline.
    In my experience, the science professors at the TP/SS campus are much more professional, are highly respected and recommend them over their Rockville and Germantown counterparts. But we need to come together as a community and get our future STEM professionals a proper learning environment.

    Although longer, I am in favor of the previous plan, because the students would loose the opportunity to go to open gym and pool times.

    • Zip Code: 20904
  84. I grew up on Takoma Avenue and I am a graduate of Montgomery College’s Takoma Park campus. I value both MC and the Historic District where I have raised my daughter in an historic home 100 years old. Fortunately, there is a solution that meets the needs of both MC and the community: build the new math and science buildings at their present location as called for in the previous 2006-2016 Master Plan.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  85. Dr. Pollard

    We empower our students to change their lives. Math and Science students require up-to-date facilities that are capable of supporting the equipment that they need to learn and practice on. At the first Community Conversation, a student cited a shortage of microscopes when urging for a new facility. Truth be told, we have sufficient microscopes but lack the electrical capacity to use but a few at a time. Science South and Falcon Hall have both outlasted their useful lives. Broken pipes are a regular occurrence. Heating and air conditioning are spotty. Windows are drafty. This is not the fault of our excellent facilities crew but rather simply a matter of age.

    To change lives, the best pedagogy must be practiced. MC employs the finest instructors in the state including several CASE professors of the year. Again, the facility must be flexible enough to support an array of learning techniques. The current Science South and Falcon Hall facilities were built when rote memorization was the norm. Most rooms are not conducive to group work or technologies that support today’s digital learning or exercises that incorporate technology. Math and Science students must be exposed to teaching practices that prepare them for the technology of today’s world.

    Much of the debate I have read in the comments posted on the website concerns the building of a new facility in four verses eight years. Four years is the better option. Every degree seeking student at MC takes a minimum of two math and/or science courses to graduate. Takoma Park/ Silver Spring students number about 7400 students per semester. Assuming that students complete their degree in two years, three year classes of students would graduate prior to being able to use a modern facility under the current facilities master plan (1 construction phase) whereas, under the former facilities master plan, the next seven year classes of students would not benefit from a new facility (2 construction phases). If a science facility equitable to those of our Rockville and Germantown campuses can be constructed sooner to meet the needs of Montgomery County’s down-county residents, it needs to be.

    James Sniezek, Ph.D.
    Instructional Dean

    • Zip Code: 20912
  86. Introduction: I am an avid user of the Science North building and the Falcon Hall and all my fondest memories from school have come from both respective spots. I have a great attachment to both facilities and I have made many friendships with the staff, patrolling security guards, and facility in particular at one location in the Science North Building.
    Opinion: I think that the former plan is slightly better than the current plan. I am not a fan of either plan and I urge the college to relax and start from the beginning with architects making the decisions while honoring the rights of freedom of speech by listening to community input and informing students and community members beforehand. Deciding the future of the college is not a walk in the park: honor the process, and be accountable for all three buildings. Remember there are three buildings that have to be replaced: Falcon Hall, SS, SN. A new plan has to be made which provides the future for all 3 of the old buildings. Choosing between two choices on a private email is incredibly open to bias especially considering that MC faculty or “Pool People” could potentially receive instructions on which plan to pick and support. As I fall into both categories of being a SN and Falcon Hall local, I urge the college to issue an apology for manipulating and omitting the key timelines of both plans. Both the current and former plans are generational, don’t rush into either the former or current plan thinking that the Science North Building or the Falcon Hall building will just disappear after each plan is conducted. When dealing with a generational time frame:respect the process, ask for community and student input, and create a long term plan that promises academics and health and wellness. Perhaps no one has made more usage of both facilities then I have, and I can confirm that science and health are awesome combinations. I have not found a greater worth while experience in life then studying science for hours and then relaxing by going to swim at the pool. There seems to be some kind of thinking going around the campus in the lines of ” some ones gotta lose… not all parties can be happy”. Well its important to know that all parties are happy right now, and all parties can be happy again by committing to a long term plan that promises both a swimming pool and a Math Science center. By combining academics with swimming I was able to retake as many classes as possible to be competitive for Health Care programs. Since I combined academics with swimming, I have made the honor roll without fail. I now feel guilty that I kept the secret to academic success, happiness, and health away from other students. I wish that the future generation of children from Takoma Park and Silver Spring get to experience the same happiness and since of purpose that I was fortunate enough to experience from being both a on campus competitive swimmer and competitive student. There’s nothing greater than having a purpose: purpose is found by tributing life to non-impact health activities with health sciences and other noble pursuits. I think any one who experiences the joys of combining on campus swimming and education would be forever grateful. I don’t care how. I don’t care in what order. I don’t care if it is following the completion of the current Math Science building plan but there must be a swimming pool on campus. Students have the right to experience the same gift that I took for granted. Building an on campus pool could be the last item on the list to complete, but it would be worth it and I would support it. Swimming and academics can only be combined on campus, for no student or faculty member has the time or inclination to leave school during class breaks to drive to another swimming center and then return 2 hours later to teach or learn. Before embracing swimming at MC Takoma I was a non swimmer, simply because of the convenience of mixing brief swim sessions with academics I discovered the amazing life and academic benefits that swimming on campus has to offer. When I am gone, I hope to know that young men and women with feelings and first person perspectives just as I had can experience the same joys of swimming and academics that I was lucky enough to have found at MC Takoma. Remember to all the thought processes out there that state their cant be a pool and academics: there already is a pool and academics right now. The joys that I experienced from combining studying and on campus swimming is a feeling that I wish all the Administrators, Staff, Faculty, Provosts, and the President to be able to experience. I would guarantee that there would be many new members of the Pool People Family…

    • Zip Code: 20912
  87. I think the current plan, which is supported by the administration of the college, should be adapted. Surely it is a better plan, or the administration would not have proposed it. In any case, it is important for the college to have an excellent Math and Sciences program, as that is in the best interest of our nation.

    • Zip Code: 20816
  88. Dr. DeRionne P. Pollard
    President
    Montgomery College
    July 20, 2017
    Dear Dr. Pollard,

    Thank you for your letter of July 7, 2017 regarding the College’s current Master Plan with regards to what it entails and how it may be received by all affected parties. After carefully reading the letter, respecting all positions offered, I offer the following:

    As a resident of Takoma Park, residing on Takoma Avenue, across from the College for over 32 years, I have typically supported the academic mission of the College in Town and Gown meetings, but an associated major concern has always been what sort of new or renovated building might be across the street from our homes and how it might affect our lives. This is an important concern and why timely inclusion of nearby residents for participation in the planning, design and building process should have been provided us, which it has not been. It is for the same reasons now, the 2002 Agreement had to be written, yet it is still not honored on several levels. Concerns include proximity of any new building to the historic residential homes, (right now there is a beautiful park with dozens of mature trees, walkways and picnic tables on the site of the proposed Math-Science building), massing and height, (eliminating current “green” park views as well as sunlight), function, (laboratory chemicals used in closer proximity than currently to an adjacent City playground) and construction, (duration, associated noise, traffic flow affected and parking increase) to mention just a few .

    It is my strong opinion, supported by many neighbors, neighborhood groups and others including elected representatives who have written you with their similar opinions, the College can successfully achieve it’s goals of modernization in a sensitive way, utilizing the 2006-20016 Facilities Master Plan for the Math-Science Building location. As the Mayor of Takoma Park, Kate Stewart, along with another one of our representatives, Councilmember, Ward 1 Peter Kovar noted, this approach offers a viable solution, and they indorse it. I would like to note that the Burlington Avenue parcel also provides another viable option for location of the building.

    Thank you for your consideration of a reasonable way to go forward with the College’s Master Plan that takes into consideration all parties, including keeping nearby residents regularly and timely involved, participating in the process. This is especially true for those directly affected for far, far more time than that needed to build. I respect the College, what it has accomplished to date and many of it’s goals. I ask that you seriously consider the areas I have noted above as the College continues to move forward in a reasonable manner.

    Sincerely,
    Richard D. Weil
    7617 Takoma Avenue
    Takoma Park, MD 20912

    • Zip Code: 20912
  89. I write to note that I support the previous Facilities Master Plan and to request that Montgomery College adopt plans to include physical education facilities such as a pool, weight room and other facilities in its plan for a new health and science building construction plans. Inasmuch as the Takoma Park campus is designed to be the health and science campus, and the importance of physical activity is important to the mental and physical well-being of students and the surrounding community, it makes no sense for the MC Takoma construction plans to omit physical education facilities. In fact, it seems to me that the MC administration is missing a true opportunity to complement the health and science mission of the campus by failing to include physical education facilities, and I urge the MC administration to reconsider its approach.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  90. As a long time health care provider who started out with a nursing degree at Takoma Park I appreciate the importance of adequate classrooms and labs. I believe this goal is best achieved with the original master plan which I fully support. I was dismayed to hear students at the community meetings dismiss the importance of nutrition and exercise. These are an essential part of any education but especially important at a campus with a health focus. Our country is currently experiencing an epidemic of preventable heath diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. The college can best address all these issues with the original plan which gives state of the art science facilities to students. I urge the college to renovate Falcon Hall and encourage students and staff to access it. Eliminating Falcon Hall ultimately has the much higher price tag, first in student health but also in dollars and cents because building a new athletic facility in the future will be much more costly than renovating the existing building. I hope the college will take a leadership role in preparing students to not only work in the world but to live in it.

    • Zip Code: 20910
  91. I am a long-time resident of this neighborhood, and frankly I am quite disturbed that the college seeks to construct a massive new building right across the street from the neighborhood which would have many negative impacts on the neighborhood. This is particularly disturbing when there are other viable options without the negative neighborhood impacts which would enable the college achieve its educational goals, I urge the college to work with the neighborhood to select one of these other options and continue to be a maintain good relations with the neighborhood. And I certainly will continue to work with other residents in the neighborhood to find an agreeable resolution, and to keep our city and county representatives aware of our serious concerns, and to work with them to a support an expansion plan which will be neighborhood-friendly and allow the college achieve its goals.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  92. The current Master Plan is the best plan for the current and future needs of Montgomery College. The time line, the cost and the site all meet the best use of State and County funds as the current plan is the fiscally prudent approach. The condition of Falcon Hall and the lack of funding to alter the condition does not offer a bright future for this building. The replacement of Falcon Hall, which is not architecturally beautify, can and will be sensitive to the Takoma Park neighborhood and will be minimized in height as it approaches the neighborhood as our Student Center demonstrates. Additionally the beautiful existing trees within the park at Takoma Park and Fenton Street remain and will buffer this new building as it currently buffers Falcon Hall. Falcon Hall can never be made into a wellness building of the 21st century, which many community members stressed should be a goal of the college, just as the current Science South and Science North buildings cannot address the math and science pedagogy required for our students to excel in their careers now and in the future. The current Master Plan allows Montgomery College to address the needs of our students now in the most fiscal and prudent approach and it leaves room for other campus improvements in the future on the Science North site. The previous Master Plan holds back the quality of education that Montgomery College can offer on this campus by significantly extending the timeframe and the cost of the new Math and Science Center building, which will impact what this new facility can offer to our students due to budgetary restrictions. Additionally, the previous Master Plan removes the option of future campus improvements on the Science North site. Our culture at Montgomery College is one of inclusion, acceptance and collaboration and the no bully culture of our society today has been lacking in this process. It would be a crime to let Montgomery College be bullied into reducing our mission by these tactics. As a good neighbor we aspire to what is best for the whole community; students as well as the community, and it is our hope that common sense will prevail.

    • Zip Code: 20148
  93. Any possibility for roof-top wind turbines and/or solar panels?

    Roof space seems often underutilized.

    • Zip Code: 20814
  94. I am a member of the Community Coalition for Science and Health and would like the original masterplan to be enacted. I have been a member of the community for 30 years, with my children attending MC’s preschool many years ago. In 2000, I began swimming at the pool and have continued there since. There are other pools in the area, and I understand they’re at my disposal, should we lose MC’s pool. However, I feel that over the long haul, the students and the community would benefit from a health and fitness center AND a state of the art math and science teaching facility.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  95. Sooner is better. I will do what ever I can to help make it so. This is great.

    • Zip Code: 20904
  96. I oppose the plan because it does not include the exercise facilities that are in the current building – especially the swimming pool, which has had a loyal community following for many years, and which I too benefitted from, as well as my children (swim team). My daughter participated in the swim team one winter and her asthma improved markedly.

    • Zip Code: 20910
  97. DeRionne P. Pollard
    President
    Montgomery College

    Dr. Pollard,
    We are glad to have this opportunity to provide our input to the process for upgraded science and math facilities at Montgomery College’s Takoma Park campus. We have lived on Takoma Avenue down the block from the campus since 1985 and enjoy having a landscaped and well-lit college campus in our neighborhood. Our son attended classes on this campus and we have attended many events in the campus’ theaters and planetarium over the years. We walk our dogs through the campus and have become friendly with some of the regulars we see there – security guards, A.V. staffers and others. On occasion, we have called the college security office to alert it to suspicious vehicles or individuals at the former day care center
    In other words, we are glad the college is our neighbor. As such, we completely support the campus having modern and functional science and math facilities. We completely support the college rebuilding those facilities rather than attempting to repair them. As residents of Montgomery County, we want up to date classrooms and laboratories for all M.C. students, especially students of color, immigrants and the children of immigrants, and others for whom a community college serves as such an important entry to a successful life.
    Unfortunately, the college administrators have not always been “good neighbors.” On multiple occasions since we have lived here, and over the decades before we moved here, college leaders have made plans and embarked on building projects that have unnecessarily threatened or detracted from the historic residential environment within which the college resides. Repeatedly, neighbors have learned late in the design process of building plans marked by outsized scale or inappropriate location. Regularly, the neighbors complain about their exclusion from early notice or input into the plans, and after a protracted battle, the college promises to change its ways, to work in conjunction with neighbors on issues directly affecting them. Then, a few years later, the cycle repeats itself and the ill will is renewed.
    Such is the present case, where the college is attempting to change its previously published Master Plan to replace Science South and Science North, to a new plan to place a new outsized math and science building in place of a razed Falcon Hall and Science South. Such a building would overwhelm the homes and residents on Takoma Avenue and the children and families from DC and the County who patronize Belle Ziegler Park. In keeping with its pattern of ignoring past agreements — including legal agreements — with neighbors, the college ignored the 2002 Agreement it had signed with Historic Takoma, Montgomery County, and The City of Takoma Park. When the neighbors belatedly learned of the revised plans, we organized and pressured college administrators to adhere to the agreement.
    M.C.’s reaction was aggressively defensive, coldly calculated to pay lip service to consultation, cooperation and conciliation, while painting the neighbors as self-centered, racist NIMBYs with no care or concern for struggling students but only for their own selfish, petty interests. To that end, at what were to have been public meetings on how best to design and build new facilities to the benefit of all, administrators solicited students, faculty and staff to speak of their struggles to succeed and how the neighbors were an obstacle to those goals. Lost in that self-justifying propaganda was the simple concept that the neighbors fully support M.C. building modern math and science facilities. Yes, we want design changes, but we have never opposed replacement of the facilities.
    If we sound bitter and angry, it’s because we are reacting to top-level college officials smearing us, answering questions with either evasions or lies, and once again digging in their heels and calculating every possible way to avoid meaningful conversation and cooperation. As in any negotiation, we do not expect to get everything we want, but we do expect to be treated with common decency, not disdain.
    We’re not falling for the rosy picture the college is painting of the time and money estimates for the new building. We have lived with the college longer than most of its students have been alive, and we have lived with the college’s past building projects which have far exceeded its estimates for time and cost. As taxpayers, we share in covering the burden of the cost, but as neighbors, we bear the brunt of torn-up and blocked streets, construction noise and dust, and the inexorable spread of cockroaches from the colleges manhole covers to our homes.
    The college’s previous plan to replace Science South and Science North with a new math and science facility, and upgrading Falcon Hall, would be a win-win for the college and the neighborhood. We would like to see a relatively reasonable revision to the scale of the new building facing Takoma Avenue, along with maintaining the current setback and installing decent landscaping. These adjustments would best serve the students and the neighbors.
    Sincerely,
    Lawrence Hershman and Amy Turim

    • Zip Code: 20912
  98. I have been employed for the last 8 years at the TPSS Campus of Montgomery College. One of my responsibilities includes oversight of the athletic program. I certainly recognize the need for maintaining quality athletic facilities. However, given the importance of adequately preparing students for STEM fields, I think it imperative that the TPSS Campus has a state of the art Math and Science Building comparable to those at the Rockville and Germantown Campuses. Therefore, based on the need and cost effectiveness, I wholeheartedly support the Site and Concept Plan for the new Math and Science Building according to the current Facilities Master Plan. Going forward, I also support the College’s efforts to identify resources and facilities to accommodate the physical fitness/ health and wellness needs of individuals. .

    • Zip Code: 20912
  99. As a neighbor of the college and a taxpayer in Montgomery County, I have strongly supported the College’s mission and proactively chose to live next to and support the college when we purchased our home. I believe that the college should provide quality instruction to its students, including appropriate science facilities. I also believe that the college should be much more visionary in how it integrates into the much more urban community of south Silver Spring and optimize public transit options for its students, density consistent with the Georgia Avenue Corridor and the economic development opportunities of the community. The college should also honor its long standing commitments and promises to the part of its campus that abuts a low density residential neighborhood. However, none of these questions are on the table – the college has narrowed the question for this website response to two very specific math/science plans that don’t reflect the longer term issues to be considered.
    The website represents that the details (such as design, time for planning and construction, etc.) of the two plan options, other than location, are already determined. But, as Takoma City Council Member Peter Kovar points out in his recent web posting, after the selection of the location, those details will be discussed in a community charrette process which the College has publicly endorsed.
    The appropriate solution is for the College to honor its word and commitment and return to the College’s Master Plan of 2006-2016. It calls for modernization of the science and math buildings at their current location. This proposal is supported by: Takoma Park Mayor, Kate Stewart; North Takoma City Council Member, Peter Kovar; Montgomery County Council Members Marc Elrich, Tom Hucker, George Leventhal, and Hans Riemer; and Chair of the Montgomery County Planning Commission, Casey Anderson.
    For many years, the college supported the 2006-2016 Master Plan but suddenly abandoned and replaced it, unfortunately, without consulting the City of Takoma Park or the community. The College proposed, instead, to demolish Falcon Hall and build a huge facility– 134,000 square feet — along Takoma Avenue around the intersection with Fenton Street directly across from Belle Ziegler Park. This proposal just does not make sense – it would overwhelm the neighborhood when building across from the train tracks – just yards away would be much more appropriate. That would still achieve the academic goals of the college and would also allow students and residents to continue to access the physical fitness facilities of Falcon Hall. It is just common sense.
    .

    • Zip Code: 20912
  100. I am a strong supporter of Montgomery College and a fan. My daughter has participated in swim meets in Falcon Hall. It would be a shame to tear down this facility which is so useful to the community when the 2006-2016 Master Plan allows for necessary expansion without losing this community facility.

    Thank you for the opportunity to share my views.

    Katy Neas

    • Zip Code: 20816
  101. Of the two locations the College is currently considering, I would support development of the new science and math buildings at the location in the prior plan, which would place construction at the site of the existing Science South and Science North Buildings, which are on Fenton Avenue next to the existing student services building (Nunley Hall). There are other locations that the College controls west of the train tracks that could also serve this function, which also should be considered. I strongly oppose the Falcon Hall location you are considering, which would entail demolishing Falcon Hall and eliminating from the campus its athletic facilities and swimming pool, and constructing at that site a massive new building that would dwarf the immediately adjacent Takoma neighborhood and its Belle Ziegler Park.
    I am a North Takoma Park resident and live within eyesight of the college campus. I support your effort to provide Montgomery County students with upgraded facilities. The portion of the campus at issue here is nestled within the North Takoma neighborhood. It is vitally important to preserve the residential and historic nature of our community. The existing campus buildings along Takoma Ave and at the junction of Takoma and Fenton Avenues were specifically designed to buffer the divide between the college campus and our neighborhood, which includes their low building heights, set back, and their residential friendly function (the athletic facilities and pool in Falcon Hall). This location is simply not suitable for the more massive building for the College has said it would need at this location for the new science and math facilities.
    The Falcon Hall site is also located diagonally, immediately across the street from Belle Ziegler Park. This is the neighborhood park where many children within the Takoma Park and Silver Spring areas play. The massive new building you have identified for the Falcon Hall site alternative, and its significantly increased height and new function, is not appropriate across from this park. Not only would it significantly detract from the park, but I am concerned that the demolition and construction, and the inevitable airborne contaminates it would generate, would pose health risks for children playing in the park. In addition, siting a college-level science laboratory so close to this park and homes, creates unnecessary risks given the hazardous substances that will be used at such a facility.
    The website states that construction at the Science North and South location may take longer to complete. At the same time, College personnel at the community conversation meetings stated that the College could shave two years off the predicted time of construction at that location. If the time to complete construction is made a priority, I’m certain that even more can be accomplished in this regard. The college has already recognized that the prior alternative would meet the students’ needs. This was confirmed at the community conversations, and it is demonstrated by the previous master plan which called for using that location for the new math and science facilities, while renovating Falcon Hall.
    It would also be a great loss to the students, faculty and neighborhood if the athletic facilities and athletic programming they provide were not maintained at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus. The other MCCC campuses have athletic facilities, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring should as well. During the community meetings, College personnel explained that, maybe, in ten but likely more years, the College might renovate a portion of Science North to include some type of athletic facility. That is no answer, and it does not provide the athletic programming that MCCC students deserve at this campus.
    Finally, I am very concerned about the process employed by the College to solicit the views of interested people. While I’m told that a few people in the Takoma Park neighborhood received email invitations to comment during this survey process, I did not, even though I attended all of the community conversation meetings and provided my email at sign in. It was only when a neighbor told me of this process did I find out about it. I am certain that many in immediate neighborhood have not been informed. At the same time, the College has solicited its faculty and others to support only the Falcon Hall option. This is no way to proceed.
    I want to work cooperatively with the College, to achieve a result that will serve the students’ needs as well as maintain the residential and historic nature of the community in which we live and the campus is located. This can still happen. As you know, the City of Takoma Park, the Montgomery Country Planning Board, and four Montgomery County Council members all support the development of new science and math facilities at the current locations of the Science North and Science South buildings. I hope the College will seize this opportunity to work cooperatively with Takoma Park neighborhood, respect our legitimate concerns, and reject the Falcon Hall site alternative. This would allow the process to proceed quickly, as we move to the design/charrette phase when issues such as aesthetics, height, footprint, and setback can be resolved, so that the needs of both the students and community can be successfully addressed.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  102. Being very upfront, I am a member of the Board of Trustees of Montgomery College.
    This revised plan is concise, in space, cost and timing. I first became involved at MC (MJC back then) in 1968. As a student and student body leader the science building is basically the same today as it was then. Timing for this update on behalf of the students is necessary as soon as it can possibly be completed. I was in the science building in 2 classes on Board Information day this Spring, the rooms were and are not properly outfitted for the students, or the professors. The new building will place the Takoma Park campus on the same level as our other 2 campuses.

    • Zip Code: 20886
  103. The current replacement plan sounds promising and hopefully meets with the community’s approval.

    One related aspect – the campus loop. Will the loop be able to stop at the new building and can something PLEASE be done to increase the campus loop? Currently, it does not follow the route schedule (generally once every half hour) and too often does not arrive except once an hour or every hour and a half. This is a HUGE problem when there is snow or rain and students who take metro to campus have to walk to campus and either traverse a dangerously icy or snow-laden path and are forced to walk in the street, which is dangerous, or they arrive and spend the next several hours on campus in rain-soaked clothing. Thank you

    • Zip Code: 20016
  104. I have already stated a preference for the ‘current plan’ Am amending my remarks to add a few facts about the pool facility as I understand them.

    1. I think the pool facility is beyond is lifespan and there is no funding lined up for the huge investment needed to renovate or build a new facility.
    2. Usage of the pool by the Takoma Park/Silver Spring community is very minimal. I believe there are 85 annual passes sold, mostly to neighbors of the college. While I am sure that it has been very convenient — and inexpensive — for people to use the pool, the benefit to a very few people is in my opinion, not a compelling reason to spend an extra $2 million on this project.
    Much has also been made of student use of the pool. In fact only around 50 students took swim classes over the last year. Most MC Students do not have the leisure time to take advantage of athletic facilities. That isn’t to say I am not supportive of them — I simply think it would be smarter for the College to work out a deal with the County on the planned state of the art recreation facility being planned for downtown Silver Spring for student use. It would be a much more cost effective solution to the student and community need.
    3. There are also a few high school teams who I believe use the facility — apparently that use is considerably less than 100 hours over the year. There are real recreation issues in lower Montgomery County but I would love for these concerned neighbors to lobby for public facilities that are threatened with closure, like Long Branch Swimming Pool rather than advocating for a college to retain this building for use by so few.

    Thank you for the opportunity to amend my original remarks. While I honor close by neighbors’ wishes to continue to enjoy benefits from their close proximity to the campus, I respectfully disagree that these ‘wants’ rise to the level of the ‘needs’ that are better addressed by the ‘current’ option.

    • Zip Code: 20910
  105. I have attended all 3 Community Conversation meetings, the College/ESCCA meeting, read all the College generated, published information, including the various Facilities Master Plans, all the College handouts, designed I will add, to influence a specific College desired outcome. I have read the Community comments on the City web site, including the latest College “option” survey. I have written pages of comments, submitted on the City web site, devoted to this MC expansion issue, which were completely ignored by the College, concerning Math/Science/Labs building location, historic preservation concerns in the adjacent TP Historic District and Master Plan Historic Jesup Blair Park, design and financial considerations, potential loss of the MC TP/SS Physical Ed component, tree preservation, and parking issues. Please review my comments again so that you will not go forward with an irrevocable, undesirable plan detrimental to MC students, faculty and the community at large.
    Since we are given only 2 options in this survey, the clear choice is the Previous FM Plan for the location of the Math/Science building. This earlier Council approved funding plan retains Falcon Hall, the MC TP/SS Physical Education and Fitness facility, prevents a massive building from being constructed on the residential south side of the TP campus, takes the future replacement Health and Fitness facility desired by MC in Historic Jesup Blair Park off the table, and buys time for utilizing the MC Foundation property and acquiring the storage unit buildings (potential expansion opportunities) on Fenton St. for classrooms and College functions. George French, Takoma Park Resident, former MC Student, marcipro@aol.com

    • Zip Code: 20912
  106. I think a current replacement plan is much better, cheaper, and faster than the previous plan. Do it.

    Regards,

    Usana Chuanhcharoen

    • Zip Code: 368236
  107. The current replacement plan moves these greatly needed facility upgrades along more rapidly at a lower cost. Remote facilities at other campus locations in Montgomery County don’t reduce the need for modern, state of the art learning environments for the math and science students at TP/SS. Math and science courses are core programs that need to be readily available to students attending full or part time in nearby classrooms to other campus facilities. While there are opportunities to take classes at other locations, the valuable luxury of time to travel to remote locations just adds another potential barrier to student success.

    • Zip Code: 20850
  108. I support the current replacement plan. It clearly makes the best use of space and resources as well as completing the project in a shorter period of time. I think the new facility will be a wonderful addition to the campus.

    • Zip Code: 20759
  109. For historical reasons they should not make too many changes to the Takoma Park Campus which makes it look different.The campus should always look like it has always looked the way it looks now no matter what they do to it.Former member of the Montgomery County Historical Society.

    • Zip Code: 20850
  110. I’m not quite sure why you are asking for comment. You have provided only two options and say you will select one, and it seems you have already selected. The “Community Conversations” meetings were mostly college presentations and commenters saying either you support the College’s proposal or you are anti-education. It seems this public process could have been run better with more honest, open engagement. It is not anti-education to want to have true input into development in our community, especially when that development is done by our government.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  111. I really like the current replacement plan for the Math and Science facilities and commend the team for making a revision that will deliver the same amount of square footage, at about the same budget, and substantially sooner! Lowering the height keeps the building mass more complimentary to the surrounding neighborhood. That the project can be delivered more swiftly diminishes the length of time the community will live inconveniences associated with construction. The sooner students have access to the newly designed facilities, the better. Thank you for your efforts!

    • Zip Code: 20910
  112. I am a member of the Coalition for Science and Health, parent of an alumni of a Montgomery College student, and retired high school math and science teacher. I’m writing to state my opinion about the renovation and upgrading of the Science and Math classrooms at the Tacoma Park campus.
    I am in favor of returning to the original master plan in order to preserve equal opportunity for Tacoma Park students to take advantage of health and fitness opportunities on campus. Active engagement in physical activities can help students perform better in their class. The plan for this renovation should be in line with the mission of the school to educate the whole student and offer opportunities for each student to fully develop their overall fitness levels and health. In order to excel in focused academic courses,to develop lifelong healthy habits,to learn new practical skills such as swimming and strength training, and to develop friendships and healthy ways to reduce stress through pick-up basketball practice or weight training sessions in the gym, students benefit greatly from varied physical fitness opportunities.
    Although I strongly agree with the college’s plan to move forward with overdue modernization and integration of the science and math facilities at Tacoma, I disagree with the plan to “save 2 million dollars” by using the new master plan rather than the original master plan. The new master plan renovates only one building while the original plan includes plans to renovate two buildings for only 2 million more dollars. Therefore it is more fiscally responsible in the long run to use the original plan.
    We have an obesity epidemic in the country; and to change this, educators need to be mindful of how key decisions such as this will have an impact on the overall health of our future students.
    We also have a crisis of mental health issues such as drug addiction and suicide with our younger population; by demolishing Falcon Hall without immediate plans for replacement, students will be denied access to stress reducing physical fitness opportunities.
    Our students at the Tacoma campus tend to be less affluent that those at the other campuses and they are often juggling work and class; they need their physical exercise opportunities to be convenient and free. Taking shuttle buses to another facility will not be practical for students on a daily basis and reducing use. As mentioned before, the lack of affluence at this campus should not reduce these students’ chances for access to fitness and health activities comparable to students’ access at other campuses.
    For these reasons I advocate strongly for Montgomery College to be responsible to our youth and return to the original master plan for improving student life.

    • Zip Code: 20901
  113. Montgomery Preservation Inc. (MPI), the County’s non-profit preservation advocacy organization, supports the previous plan of Montgomery College that would replace Science South and North with a new math and science building. It would avoid the potential for a dense new building that would erode the character of the Takoma Park historic district which is highly valued by the community and is a jewel among the County’s historic resources. Furthermore, the “previous replacement plan” would avoid the disruption to the neighborhood that would occur if Falcon Hall were demolished.

    In comments submitted previously, MPI urged the college to provide background information to support its statements regarding the comparative costs of the various options. But no such information is provided in the college’s current side-by-side assertions online of the costs (or timeliness) of the two plans the community is asked to choose from. A number of supporters of the “current replacement plan” are apparently accepting the assertions on faith.

    Moreover, the Burlington Avenue option is unfortunately not even presented among the choices. Nevertheless, we favor the previous replacement plan over the current plan as a compromise that would meet the need to upgrade the college’s science facilities while addressing serious concerns of the community. Among those concerns, as several commenters have pointed out, are the risks of siting a science facility that handles hazardous chemicals so close to residences and public parks – the scenario under the current replacement plan.

    MPI sincerely hopes that Montgomery College officials will not simply count the “votes” for the two replacement plans in this phase of the process but will carefully consider the substance of all comments received. A number of these contain important considerations.

    The best option in the end is one that meets two worthy goals: providing first-rate math and science facilities for the college, and preserving the historic character and quality of life of the Takoma Park community.

    Mary Reardon
    Vice President, Montgomery Preservation Inc.

    • Zip Code: 20910
  114. As a resident of the Takoma Park neighborhood within walking distance of the college, I have strong objections to the newly proposed plan and location of the Montgomery College’s new science and math buildings. The current proposed site of the existing Falcon Hall would not be suitable as such a large building does not fit in with the historic nature and residential community within which the college is a part of. The proposed plan also calls for the demolition of the existing Falcon Hall–which would be disruptive to the neighborhood and also mean the loss of athletic facilities and swimming pool–which are not in the best interest of the college students.

    The plan to build at the existing Science South and Science North Buildings are on Fenton Avenue is a much more appropriate location as it entails minimal impact on the neighborhood and will not disrupt campus life for students as much as losing the current Falcon Hall would, and will have a shorter completion time.

    It is imperative that Montgomery College maintains its relationship with the City of Takoma Park, and most importantly, with the residents who live in the very community in which the college is located. There has been minimal information shared regarding this most recent proposed plan, and little effort to seek active involvement with the community. Previous plans to build the new science and math buildings at the current Science North and Science South buildings have received support from the City of Takoma Park, the Montgomery Country Planning Board, and four Montgomery County Council members.

    Montgomery College needs to recognize the uniqueness of their TP/SS location as an integral part of the historic neighborhood of Takoma Park. Therefore, building plans need to consider the needs of the community along with the college. This newly proposed plan to use the existing Falcon Hall location does not do this. It would mean more disruption to the community, the elimination of athletic and pool services for students, and a longer timeline to complete construction. The college must eliminate this plan for consideration and make their decision to use the prior plan along Fenton Ave or other locations within the campus that are not a direct assault to the neighborhood in which it resides.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  115. To Montgomery College,

    I am very close neighbor of Montgomery Community College. I live on the corners of Albany, Fenton and Takoma Ave. My house is directly across from the various proposed or potential sites of the College’s new development project. I am also a strong supporter of Montgomery College, it’s mission and most importantly — it’s students. In the 1997/98 Congressional Appropriations cycle, as the Minority Staff Director of the Senate VA/HUD Appropriations Subcommittee under the leadership of Senator Barbara Mikulski, I personally worked (along with Senator Sarbanes office) to secure Federal financial support to help redesign, develop and build several of Montgomery College’s facilities.

    So — it is in this spirit — as a close neighbor and strong supporter of the school — that I offer these comments and thoughts.

    The College should strive to be a good neighbor. It is a key part of this close community and should recognize by now that unilateral decision making in such a close community simply does not work. For many years, the college supported the 2006-2016 Master Plan — this plan was developed through a process of collaboration and consultation with the community and other important stakeholders.

    Unfortunately, the College suddenly abandoned and replaced this Master Plan with another proposal without consulting the City of Takoma Park or the rest of this close community. The College has now proposed to demolish Falcon Hall and build a huge new facility– 134,000 square feet — along Takoma Avenue around the intersection with Fenton Street and directly across from Belle Ziegler Park. As many, many others have highlighted — this proposal simply does not make sense. It would overwhelm the neighborhood whereas locating the development and buildings across from the train tracks only a small distance away — as outlined in the previous 2006-2016 Master Plan –would be much more appropriate.

    My concern is not directed at the College’s desire to fulfill its academic mission (this I have strongly supported and will continue to support) but instead it is focused on the new development plan and subsequent new site location that was unilaterally selected by the College. Under the 2006-2016 Master Plan, the College would update and modernize the science and math buildings at their current location. Returning to the 2006-2016 Master Plan would not only allow the College to achieve its academic mission and goals but also allow the students and residents to continue to access the physical fitness facilities of Falcon Hall. Moreover, in addition to being supported by the neighbors in this tight community, returning to the 2006-2016 Master Plan is an approach that is also supported by several other key stakeholders including: Takoma Park Mayor, Kate Stewart; North Takoma City Council Member, Peter Kovar; Montgomery County Council Members Marc Elrich, Tom Hucker, George Leventhal, and Hans Riemer; and Chair of the Montgomery County Planning Commission, Casey Anderson.

    In closing, I firmly believe the College should honor its previous commitments and return to the College’s Master Plan of 2006-2016. This is something that a good neighbor would do.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  116. I have lived within two blocks of Montgomery Community College since 2002 and have felt the neighborhood and the college have each benefitted from the other. However, I do not support putting the Math and Science building as contemplated in the current plan. It does not make sense for either the college or the community. It will change the character and balance of the neighborhood profoundly to have the building on the corner facing Belle Ziegler park and houses. It makes much more sense to go back to the original plan and have the building on Fenton facing the railroad tracks or even better at the corner of Fenton and Highway 410. This way the college gets the facilities it needs for students and the neighborhood retains its residential feel. Going back to the original plan is more in keeping with the partnership the college leadership has talked about. The current plan is inconsistent with the balance that college leadership represented they would maintain and would do much to weaken town-gown relations.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  117. I am a long-term resident in close proximity to the college on Takoma Avenue. As a point of context which should be contained in this survey material but is not, the Takoma Park campus is unique within the Montgomery College system in that it is surrounded by historic residential homes in both a National Register District as well as a Montgomery County Historic District. Many of these homes are so close they share property boundaries with the college, mine is one of them. After a bitter battle in the 1970s in which the college began tearing down our homes and was stopped, the compromise with the community involved the construction of a low-scale, angular “residential” campus with trees and open space to blend into the residential neighborhood designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill in the 1970s, for which the college received an award. The residential qualities of the eastern campus have been consistently embraced and recognized by the college as a contrast to its tall urban campus to the west. In 2002, the college administration acknowledged the importance of the close-in, affected North Takoma neighborhood with which they share boundaries and buildings, as well as the benefits of its good will, and in an effort “to avoid the friction of the past,” with its most direct neighbors, created protections including a requirement for the college to have an early collaborative consultation process on any major or substantial changes to existing structures. This was done to insure protection of our immediate neighborhood and also guide future college administrations. The Agreement was signed by Montgomery College, the City of Takoma Park, the County and Historic Takoma and is so important that it was adopted into the code of City of Takoma Park.
    The college violated this agreement and its good spirit with the submittal of their new master plan, which proposed unexpected and aggressive changes in our neighborhood. In contrast to the building siting in all previous master plans, the college proposed newly locating a massive laboratory/classroom building close to our homes by tearing down Falcon Hall, a low-scale and neighborhood-compatible building that was always slated for renovation and continued athletic use. In view of its obligations, the college had absolutely no justification for making such a radical change in the location of their laboratory building currently located at Science North, so fraught with adverse effects to its neighbors, without first engaging in an early honest vetting with the local residential community and the parties of the Agreement. This clearly would have prevented the submission of such a problematic scheme and instead would have resulted in the development of a better solution. Nevertheless, the college pushed their master plan forward without review by and consultation with the affected parties of the agreement as required. The new master plan was an unwelcome surprise. This should not have happened.
    The only appropriate locations for a modern laboratory building are far from our residential areas such as Science North directly across from the railroad tracks on Fenton Street (a location always envisioned) and where the current laboratory is located; on the Burlington Avenue parcel on the western campus previously promised as the site of an academic building with parking underneath; or on some other area to the west that the college owns or acquires. The college needs to step away now from the tear-down of Falcon Hall.
    There are many disturbing aspects with respect to this survey that must be called out because as presented there is no choice at all.
    The college states in this survey that we must now choose one of two options, yet no supporting documentation on their estimates for time of construction and cost has been provided, even though requested by community members. With no factual basis to support them, the numbers as presented are not informative and cannot be a sound basis for a decision.
    The college also places strange, unequal standards of flexibility on the height of their two survey options. In doing so, it incorrectly states that the previous replacement plan for this building was four stories. The college’s previous 2006-2016 Master Plan published in 2010 and the subsequent 2011-2012 update published in 2013 proposed a three-story building across the large location occupied by Science North. Further, the idea that the college’s preferred new option is flexible with respect to height while the previous master plan utilizing the Science North location is not flexible conflicts with the college’s own slides on design parameters to be discussed during the charrette and other regulatory processes moving forward. Height is a major parameter for this residential campus given the history of this campus development with the college, the deliberate intent of the low-scale residential design, the historical importance of the North Takoma neighborhood, and the regulatory processes in which we will engage. It is not an inflexible parameter.
    The survey uses terms such as “stories” without providing the normal measure of “feet.” Most people reading this survey will interpret three stories as low, but it is not. The height of the three-story building in their current plan is 60 feet based upon a staff admission, an incompatible height in a low-scale residential community. Using the term “stories” instead of feet to make commercial building height seem small is something even private developers no longer do when working with the public. By the same token, calling this major expansion in a residential community as simply a “modernization” rather than an expansion is also problematic.
    Finally, it must be said that this survey does not substitute for the consultation with the surrounding local community and parties called for in the 2002 Agreement, nor did any of the “community conversations” and it does not inform the public appropriately on the legal/historical background and the college’s actions vis-à-vis the new master plan regarding this agreement.
    When honestly willing to engage, the college has in the past been able to work out issues with its local impacted community. The current impasse can be bridged, and I urge the college to work together with its close-in neighbors in finding a solution now.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  118. I am a regular user of the Montgomery College health and fitness facilities, a neighbor of the college, a strong supporter of community colleges and a a strong supporter of the previous master plan maintaining the vital facilities in Falcon Hall. It mystifies me why anyone would want to tear down a building that plays such a vital role in forming long-term healthy behavior of young people and serves as a link between the college and the community.

    The Germantown and Rockville campuses have modern fitness and health facilities that available to students and community members alike. I see no reason why Takoma Park/Silver Spring should be any different.

    Dan Carney

    • Zip Code: 20910
  119. Here is a correction to my previous comment of today: I support the plan which includes exercise facility for the students, administration, and community, to include the same equipment as we currently have: pool, racquetball court, exercise room with weights, etc.

    • Zip Code: 20910
  120. I am a member of the Community Coalition for Science & Health (our new name) & use the athletic facilities at least weekly. I favor the previous Facilities Master Plan which includes a new science & math facility & maintains Falcon Hall. All students at Montgomery College deserve a common experience, as promised by the college. Rockville & Germantown have fitness facilities that are being maintained & open to the publilc. Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus & community deserve the same. If Falcon Hall is destroyed, it will not be replaced for current or future students. Please support the previous Facilities Master Plan so that we have a new science & math facility and Falcon
    Hall will be maintained. Thank you for a positive decision.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  121. Hello,

    I am a long time resident of Takoma Park and a quite enthusiastic supporter of Montgomery College.

    Over the years, I have taken several courses at MC, most recently in the Department of Performing Arts.
    I know Montgomery College to be a great asset to our community.

    I am strongly in favor of the Previous Replacement Plan.
    The Previous Plan retains the swimming pool and exercise facilities, and retains physical fitness and health as the essential priority that it is.

    I urge you to choose the Previous Replacement Plan.

    Sincerely yours,
    Georgine Prokopik

    • Zip Code: 20912
  122. I don’t think we should give up falcon hall. That means students HAVE to go to other campuses which are out of the way for some, to use the pool. Why can’t we keep the pool and add it to the new building?

    • Zip Code: 20906
  123. I am not in favor of the current plan. I live in the immediate neighborhood and this plan is not in keeping with the neighborhood agreements with Montgomery College. The plan includes a proposed expansion of the building at the corners of Takoma, Albany and Fenton where there is currently a wooded picnic area. The proposed building is too large and will loom over the nearby park. The original proposed location on Fenton and across from the RR tracks (that was last discussed with the neighborhood residents) makes much more sense since it is in the same size as the other surrounding buildings. Montgomery College should work in partnership with the neighborhood as agreed when considering expansion.

    • Zip Code: 20912
  124. Montgomery College (MC) is a gem for students who seek a 21st century education. We all agree that the science and math facilities need to be modernized to make that possible. The choice is where these upgrades should be made.

    I believe the best path forward is the College’s Master Plan of 2006-2016. It calls for modernization of the science and math buildings at their current location. This proposal is supported by: Takoma Park Mayor, Kate Stewart; North Takoma City Council Member, Peter Kovar; Montgomery County Council Members Marc Elrich, Tom Hucker, George Leventhal, and Hans Riemer; Chair of the Montgomery County Planning Commission, Casey Anderson; Neighbors United and the Community Coalition for Science and Health, community organizations which represent families in both Takoma Park and east Silver Spring.

    • Zip Code: 20816
  125. Many of my BCC 2017 classmates are attending Montgomery College (MC) this fall. I was fortunate to be able to participate in swim meets at the Takoma Park location.

    MC is a real asset to our community and I understand the need to modernize and expand its science and math facilities. I hope that MC will follow the College’s Master Plan of 2006-2016. It calls for modernization of the science and math buildings at their current location. This proposal is supported by: Takoma Park Mayor, Kate Stewart; North Takoma City Council Member, Peter Kovar; Montgomery County Council Members Marc Elrich, Tom Hucker, George Leventhal, and Hans Riemer; Chair of the Montgomery County Planning Commission, Casey Anderson; Neighbors United and the Community Coalition for Science and Health, community organizations which represent families in both Takoma Park and east Silver Spring.

    • Zip Code: 20816
  126. I favor the inclusion of a fitness/aquatic facility on the Takoma Park Montgomery College campus. This facility that was promised and included in the original campus build out is a vital resource to students, staff and the surrounding community. As an MC graduate and Takoma/Silver Spring community member it is unthinkable that these facilities, which are a part of the other MC campuses, would be removed. Thank you.

    • Zip Code: 20910
  127. Thank you for hosting the community conversations (I attended the first session) and considering ways to upgrade the science center while still maintaining a health center and pool. The other Montgomery College campuses offer pools and gyms.

    I have been using the pool for twenty years. It is an important resource for the community and especially for students, especially thise who cannot afford to join a gym. The Montgomery College Takoma Park campus has had a focus on health and fitness and so it is appropriate for the College to provide its students with adequate health instruction and facilities. Given our national obesity crisis and all we know about the value of exercise, this is all the more important.

    I’m all for building a new math and science center, but surely there must be a way to also provide a pool and fitness center. Please take this community concern seriously and find a way to continue to make these facilities available on the Takoma Park campus.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    • Zip Code: 20910
  128. As a regular user of campus facilities, I support retaining Falcon Hall as in the Previous Replacement Option for the Math/Science building. Students clearly should have access to athletics and neighbors should be impacted minimally. The Current Plan would have serious negative impacts on both of these vital considerations. Please reject it. The Previous.Replacement Option has already gained approvals from numerous key officials and the County Council. It deserves your approval too. Thank you.

    • Zip Code: 20910
  129. The Silver Spring Historical Society supports the Previous Replacement Plan siting for the Math/Science Building where Science South and North now stand, and for continued renovation of Falcon Hall, serving as the campus’s unique Health, Fitness & Aquatic Center. We join with Montgomery Preservation Inc., Neighbors United, Community Coalition for Science and Health, Mayor Kate Stewart, Takoma Park Council Member Peter Kovar, the Planning Board Chair, 4 County Council members, and many other commentators, in support.

    This Previous Replacement Plan respects the historic and residential nature of the adjacent neighborhood, literally across the street from the campus. This Plan respects the Takoma Park neighborhood’s green environmental park-like setting, known as a “Tree City,” abounding with huge mature trees. The Previous Replacement Plan will be less disruptive for all.
    Falcon Hall’s appreciable set back from the green treed, plant-filled, shaded curve at Takoma and Fenton, with its picnic tables and benches is gentle, inviting to all, and kind to the adjacent residential and historic neighborhood.

    Reconsidering Burlington Ave. location as a third option for Math/Science would be helpful.

    The Previous Replacement Plan serves all simultaneously, respecting the immediate historic residential neighborhood so the College can continue to “nestle” gracefully adjacent to Takoma Park’s oasis of beauty, the Students, Faculty, Staff, Officers, Researchers, the Public, Visitors, Tourists, providing a well-balanced menu of study and physical education activity, a multi-cultural and multi-dimensional campus, a healthful menu for vital success!

    Marcie Stickle, Silver Spring Historical Society Advocacy Chair, marcipro@aol.com,

    • Zip Code: 20912

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