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This Post Has 6 Comments
  1. Please identify all applicable national, state and local requirements, and all non-binding guidelines, pertaining to siting and managing the chemistry and biology labs, and analyze in a report whether and how the location selected for the labs in a residential neighborhood complies with these requirements and non-binding guidelines.

    Steps should be taken to minimize traffic on Takoma Ave., including closing off the entrance to the planned parking lot adjacent to Takoma Ave (if an emergency access entrance lane is needed from Takoma Ave., that should be open to only emergency vehicles), and limiting traffic on the stretch of Takoma Ave between Fenton and Philadelphia to local traffic.

    Please explain the traffic flow design for the planned drop-off site on Fenton Ave.

    Thank you,
    David Kaplan

  2. Applicable National, State, and Local Requirements:

    In addition to the Montgomery County building design and review process, the following are a list of building codes and standards that will govern the design of the new math and science building:

    ICC INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE 2015 EDITION
    ICC INTERNATIONAL MECHANICAL CODE 2015 EDITION
    IGBC INTERNATIONAL GREEN BUILDING CODE 2015 EDITION
    NFPA 1 FIRE CODE, 2015 EDITION
    NFPA 13 STANDARDS FOR THE INSTALLATION OF SPRINKLER SYSTEMS, 2013 EDITION
    NFPA 14 STANDARDS FOR THE INSTALLATION OF STANDPIPE AND HOSE SYSTEM, 2013 EDITION
    NFPA 72 NATIONAL FIRE ALARM AND SIGNALING CODE, 2013 EDITION
    NFPA 20 STANDARD FOR THE INSTALLATION OF STATIONARY PUMPS FOR FIRE PROTECTION, 2013 EDITION
    NFPA 70 NATIONAL ELECTRICAL CODE, 2014 EDITION
    NFPA 101 LIFE SAFETY CODE, 2015 EDITION

    Non-binding guidelines pertaining to siting and managing the chemistry and biology labs:

    In addition to the above national, state, and local requirements, the college is committed to environmental health and safety as the college is committed to the safety of students, faculty, staff, and neighbors.

    The College places a priority on safety and utilizes appropriate protocols. Established safety programs Include:

    • Classroom and office protocols
    • Consistent materials hygiene and hazard communication
    • Safety for facilities operations and maintenance activities

    Montgomery College’s Environmental Safety Office works to promote a healthy and safe work environment for all members of the College community and, as result, the communities in which the College operates.

    The Environmental Safety Office requires safety training for faculty, staff, and students; provides employee access to Safety Data Sheets for chemical materials; oversees proper disposal of chemical waste; investigates safety complaints; and supports preparation for environmental emergencies that may impact our campuses or our students. College materials are strictly regulated at all levels of government. The Environmental Safety Office administers and oversees compliance with federal and state environmental and occupational regulations. Key regulatory bodies are as follows:

    • OSHA Occupational Safety and Safety Administration
    • MOSH Maryland Occupational Safety and Health
    • EPA Environmental Protection Agency
    • MDE Maryland Department of the Environment
    • WSSC Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission

    The College Contracts with ECOFLO, Inc. for pickup of all chemical waste. ECOFLO is a waste management company that conforms to EPA, DOT, and state regulations.

    How the location selected for the labs in a residential neighborhood complies with the above requirements:

    Currently, the existing science buildings on the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus have the same programs as the new building. The new building systems would be a significant upgrade over the existing and would allow the programs to function in a new building that meets contemporary building code.

    The proposed facility will be designed to meet all pertinent regulated codes and standards including all that govern the chemistry and biology labs. The specific details about how this project will respond to each individual code requirement is yet to be finalized, but the design team can assure that the program and scope as proposed can and will comply with all regulatory requirements. In fact, the College has a strong demonstrated record of safety. Labs have been present and safely operated on the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus for more than 50 years.

    Regarding the new math and science building, the laboratories on campus are basic instructional labs similar to MCPS labs—no investigative research or commercial activities will occur. At least four MCPS high schools with comparable instructional labs are embedded in residential neighborhoods.

    The College Uses Standard Instructional Lab Materials. Many are common household materials, including:

    • Tylenol – Acetaminophen
    • Ibuprofen- 2-(4-Isobutylphenyl) propanoic acid
    • Hexane – Solvent used in glues and to extract cooking oils, e.g., soybean and canola
    • Helium gas – Often used to inflate balloons at birthday parties
    • Vinegar – Acetic acid
    • Starch
    • Sugars – Sucrose, Glucose
    • Ajax laundry detergent
    • Phosphoric Acid – (Found in sodas)
    • Salts – (A variety of cationic andanionic compounds)
    • Weak to strong acids – (HCL, found in your stomach)
    • Acetone – Nail polish remover

    Such compliance with pertinent codes and standards, as a practical matter, are mandatory project requirements from all parties involved. Compliance is part of the Montgomery County design review process prior to construction of a project. Compliance with these applicable codes and standards is a requirement of Montgomery College as the owner and operator of a facility with many students and faculty. Compliance is a requirement of the design team’s professional ethics as the design team is the architect and engineer of record.

  3. Please leave Falcon Hall open as long as possible before starting demolition. After all, MC has stated numerous times that Elizabeth Square recreational complex in downtown Silver Spring would be “…open before the demolition of Falcon Hall.” Again, MC states construction of this new athletic facility Elizabeth Square will be “…completed in 2019, well before any changes are implemented on the campus.” At least please leave Falcon Hall gym and pool open until the end of 2019! Thank you!

  4. Hello…

    With the construction schedule for the new math/science building not being started until near the end of this calendar year, the option to keep useful parts of the existing structure in service for several more months should be seriously considered. Among the facilities that have good public and school usage is the swimming pool that I and numerous others have actively used and enjoyed for physical fitness and recreation for many years. It’s currently scheduled to close on May 24, 2019. Please seriously consider keeping the pool open until it’s absolutely necessary to close it.down, perhaps until year’s end if feasible or, at least, through the summer months of 2019. I and many regular swimmers there will welcome and cheer any such extension of time that the updated construction schedule now allows. Please know that such a move will be enthusiastically welcomed by many local swimmers. And you will not only be providing public benefit to numerous county residents but will extract even more worthwhile usage from this still very serviceable swimming facility. Thank you.

  5. Is the draft Tree Preservation plan ready at this time for the demolition of Falcon Hall/Science South and the construction of the Leggett building? Has a tree schedule, with all the pertinent tree information, been completed that shows those trees that will be removed and those next to the building construction that will be protected. Thank you.

    1. Dear Mr. French,

      Thanks for your inquiry. The College is committed to tree protection in the project area, in general, and will strive to protect the park-like setting along Takoma Avenue. Trees and other landscaping material will be added to the campus as part of the project to help the City with its goals with respect to tree canopy, for aesthetics and screening, to help manage stormwater, and clean the air. The College’s tree plans have been submitted to the City as required regarding tree protection. A fact sheet regarding this subject will be available at the July 9 meeting and online.

      The College is committed to sustainable practices to help ensure the safety, well-being of our students, employees and neighbors, and to help protect the environment we all share.

      Thank you again.

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