This site on Randolph Road west of New Hampshire will become a office and retail center. (My old house is at the far left.)
As July draws to a close, The Government prepares for its August break by tying up as many loose ends as possible. If there's one week in the year when your elected officials are taking care of business, it's this one. Here's a look at what the Planning Board's tackling this week:
- First, they'll record a plat for Randolph Plaza, a 22,000 square-foot office and retail center on Randolph Road west of New Hampshire Avenue. Randolph Plaza sits next door to Colesville Center, one of several shopping centers owned by Kramer Enterprises, a family company whose family members include Sen. Rona Kramer, Del. Ben Kramer and former Sen. Ida Ruben, for whom a nearby section of New Hampshire Avenue is dedicated.
Kramer Enterprises refused to give the development access to its shopping center, forcing developers Pioneer Hills, LLC to orient its parking lot to townhouses in the Morningside neighborhood, flanking the site to the west. Upset about potential light pollution at night, Morningside's homeowners' association asked delegate and chili maven Karen Montgomery, who serves in District 14 alongside Sen. Kramer, to intervene, but the plan was still approved last summer. Pending building permits, construction could begin at any time.
Elevation of the new Cresthaven Elementary School, as it will be seen from Cresthaven Drive.
- After that, they'll review plans for the new Cresthaven Elementary School on Cresthaven Drive in White Oak. The current facility is overcrowded and desperately needs updating. Built in 1960, Cresthaven has seventeen portable classrooms, the highest number of any public school in Montgomery County.
MCPS is seeking LEED Silver certification for the 77,000 square foot building, more than twice the size of the White Oak Recreation Center, another LEED rating system contender a few miles north. The new, three-story building will be built almost entirely behind the current school, set back nearly three hundred feet from the road to accomodate a staff parking lot and bus turnaround. Completion is anticipated for 2010, just in time for the school's fiftieth anniversary.