Possible Attendance Maps for Butterfly Ridge to be Presented in January

November 22, 2016 / / Uncategorized

By Jeremy Bauerwolf, Frederick News Post
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The public will learn in January which Frederick neighborhoods might attend a new elementary school being built in the western end of the city.

Frederick County Public Schools intends to unveil at least three choices of attendance boundaries for Butterfly Ridge Elementary School, Ray Barnes, the district’s chief operating officer, said on Monday.

The school system plans to open Butterfly Ridge by 2018 to alleviate significant overcrowding in other city schools, namely Hillcrest, Waverley and Orchard Grove elementary schools.

Though the district will accept feedback on all of the options, only one will be presented to the Frederick County Board of Education as the superintendent’s recommendation. The district hopes the board would approve a plan by June 2017 to allow a full year for bus routes and more to be developed, Barnes said.

The redistricting process can be arduous. Families often feel deep loyalty to their home schools and have many questions, Barnes said in an interview.

To that end, the school system has held a number of meetings at the schools primarily affected by the boundary changes, including one on Monday night at Tuscarora Elementary School that was sparsely attended. Fewer than 10 people braved the chill to hear a presentation on Butterfly Ridge.

Earlier meetings were more crowded, with up to 30 people, Barnes said.

At the recent round of meetings, parents and the community were presented with large maps of the city and the surrounding area on which they could create their own school attendance boundaries.

This is the first time the district has tried an interactive activity, Barnes said. It has yielded mostly written comments, but a few have delved into the nitty-gritty of shifting students around, he said.

Parents are concerned with issues such as which middle or high school their children will attend. The district first needs to establish the elementary school boundaries before seeing how they will influence the middle and high schools, he said.

At a previous meeting in late September, parents were worried that minority and low-income students, primarily at Hillcrest and Waverley, would be excluded from the new school.

Butterfly Ridge, which will accommodate 725 students, will be on Butterfly Lane opposite McCain Drive, in the current Orchard Grove attendance area.

The system has said it will seek to avoid creating pockets of poverty in the community while also following Frederick County Board of Education policy.

Continued …

New Bike Tunnel to Connect Parts of Frederick

September 28, 2016 / / Uncategorized

By Ryan Marshall, Frederick News Post
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Frederick officials hope a new tunnel that will let bicyclists and pedestrians travel beneath U.S. 15 on Rosemont Avenue will help connect the west side of the city to downtown.

The tunnel under the southbound ramps onto U.S. 15 opens on one side to a black asphalt path leading up to the sidewalk on Rosemont Avenue. It opens on the other side to a bridge across Rock Creek.

The spot has long been identified as an important gateway between the Golden Mile and other parts of west Frederick to the downtown area, said Tim Davis of the city’s planning department.

“This was the connection” needed to bring the two areas together, he said.

The city will hold a ceremony at 5 p.m. Oct. 4 to celebrate the official completion of the $1.7 million project.

Most of the money came from the city, although the state’s Department of Transportation contributed about $330,000, Davis said.

The tunnel connects about 5 miles of shared-use trails that didn’t have an easy connection before, he said.

It will also likely be an economic benefit by allowing people who work in downtown shops or restaurants to ride their bikes to work.

“This isn’t just a recreation facility that we put in,” Davis said.

Lots of people would much rather bike to work than sit in traffic, said Justin Kiska, president of the Golden Mile Alliance, which seeks to foster growth and development in west Frederick.

“It just makes things easier for people now,” he said.

One of the alliance’s main goals has been working on connectivity issues between west Frederick and other parts of the city, Kiska said.

He said anything that can get bikers off main routes is a good thing.

Some members of one Frederick neighborhood would like to see the shared-use path connected to one of their local streets.

The end of Meadowdale Lane in the Rock Creek Estates neighborhood sits only a few dozen yards from the completed trail along the creek.

Residents assumed that a makeshift path used by construction vehicles during the project’s construction would be paved at the end of the process to connect Meadowdale to the shared-use path, said Katie Nash, who lives in the neighborhood.

Today, part of the path is covered with stone, while the rest has green netting over the grass. Nash said she and her neighbors would like some basic asphalt or cement to provide a route down to the shared-use path.

They don’t want to seem like they’re not grateful for the project, but the stones on the makeshift path make it hard for senior citizens, parents with strollers or children on bicycles to get down to the creek, Nash said.

Nash is preparing to speak with the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, which is scheduled to meet Oct. 4.

Davis said a connection from Meadowdale was not in the original plan to develop the shared-use path, but the city will discuss amendments to the plan next week for connections to 10 to 12 neighborhoods and activity centers.

Continued …

GMA Seeks Applicants for Board of Directors

September 21, 2016 / / Uncategorized

The Golden Mile Alliance is currently seeking individuals interested in serving on the organization’s Board of Directors.

The GMA’s Board of Directors is made up of five business representatives from the Golden Mile Corridor, five residents, and five property owners and/or representatives. The Board of Directors is charged with directing the business of The Golden Mile Alliance as set forth by the organization’s By-Laws.


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Frederick County Public Schools to Hold Redistricting Meetings

August 31, 2016 / / Uncategorized

Frederick County Public Schools are inviting parents and community members to learn about the redistricting process to determine who will attend the new Butterfly Ridge Elementary School in Frederick. Construction for Butterfly Ridge will start in the spring of 2017 with a scheduled opening in August 2018.

Tuesday, September 27th at 6:30 p.m.Waverly Elementary School
201 Waverly Drive | Frederick, MD

Thursday, September 29th at 6:30 p.m.
Hilcrest Elementary School
1285 Hilcrest Drive | Frederick, MD