Fourth High School

Construction of Frederick County’s fourth high school is the second priority on the school division’s 2019-2023 Capital Improvements Plan (CIP). According to the CIP, the school will open in the fall of 2023. The school will be constructed on part of an 83 acre site immediately east of Evendale Elementary School and Admiral Richard E. Byrd Middle School. To date, funds have only been appropriated for the design of the school. Additional action will be necessary by both the School Board and Board of Supervisors before construction can begin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Project Timeline

  • November 2004 - The School Board adopted the 2005-2010 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) which identified the need for the fourth high school for the first time.   The CIP is amended each year by the School Board and the fourth high school project has remained on the CIP since being added in 2004. 
  • September 2010 - The School Board and the Board of Supervisors approved a School Construction Fund supplemental appropriation in the amount of $2.3 million.  The amount represented the remaining, unrestricted school operating funds and was requested to be appropriated for upcoming CIP projects, which included land acquisition for the fourth high school.  
  • December 2011 – A joint meeting of the School Board and Board of Supervisors was held to review four properties of interest for fourth high school.  
  • January 2012 – The School Board posted a public notice seeking land that could be used as a site for the fourth high school.  
  • June 2012 – The School Board reviewed eight potential sites for the fourth high school.
  • July to September 2012 - The School Board and the Board of Supervisors approved an FY13 budget adjustment to the School Construction Fund in the amount of $2.5 million for the design and document preparation for the fourth high school to the point of, but not including, the bidding of the project prior to construction. 
  • January 2013 – A joint meeting of the School Board and Board of Supervisors was held to discuss site selection.
  • April 2013 - The School Board adopted the 2014-19 CIP.  The fourth high school was the second priority with a July 2017 opening date.
  • March 2013 – The School Board issued an architectural and engineering contract to OWPR Architects and Engineers for the design of the fourth high school.
  • October  2013 - The School Board purchased 83 acres of land for the fourth high school at a cost of $2,075,000.  
  • November 2013 - The School Board adopted the 2015-20 CIP.  The fourth high school was the moved from the second to third priority with a July 2018 opening date.
  • April 2013 to Fall 2014 – Stakeholder meetings were conducted to seek input on the design of the fourth high school. 
  • October 2014 - The School Board adopted the 2016-21 CIP.  The fourth high school remained the third priority, but the opening date was moved back from July 2018 to July 2019.  
  • March 2015 - The School Board approved a program capacity of 1,725 students for the fourth high school.  
  • June and July 2015 - The School Board and Board of Supervisors approved an FY16 budget adjustment to the School Construction Fund in the amount of $1.2 million for the fourth high school project from the County’s Proffer Fund.
  • November 2015 - The School Board adopted the 2017-22 CIP.  The fourth high school was the second priority.  The opening date was moved back from July 2019 to July 2020. 
  • January 2016 - A joint meeting of the School Board and Board of Supervisors was held to discuss CIP projects. 
  • November 2016 - The School Board adopted the 2018-23 CIP.  The fourth high school was the top priority.  The opening date remained July 2020.
  • November 2016 - A joint meeting of the School Board and Board of Supervisors was held to discuss CIP projects. 
  • December 2016 - The School Board requested the Board of Supervisors appropriate $85.4 million to allow for the construction of the fourth high school to proceed. 
  • January 2017 - The School Board hosted a public information meeting on the fourth high school, reviewed the project design and sought public input on the design.   
  • January 2017 - In response to concerns voiced by individual members of the Frederick County Board of Supervisors about the estimated total project cost of the fourth high school, the School Board authorized a study to reduce the estimated total project cost from $91.4 million to $83 million.  
  • March 2017 - The results of the study to reduce the estimated total project cost of the fourth high school were presented to the School Board’s Buildings and Grounds Committee as well as the full School Board.  The study identified ways to reduce the estimated total project cost to $80.6 million.  
  • April 2017 - The Frederick County Board of Supervisors shared that it was unwilling to fund the construction of a fourth high school as presented and requested. The Board of Supervisors approved a motion stated its willingness to consider a future appropriation of up to $9.2 million to create 400 additional, permanent classroom seats at the high school level.  
  • September 2017 - The School Board reviewed the preliminary assessment of a possible addition at Millbrook High School.  The assessment determined in rough and very preliminary terms, that the most capacity that would be gained by constructing an addition at Millbrook with a total project cost of $9.2 million would be 245 seats.  
  • November 2017 - The School Board adopted the 2019-23 CIP.  The fourth high school was the second priority.  The opening date was moved back from July 2020 to August 2023. 

Project Goals

Frederick County’s fourth high school is being designed by OWPR Architects and Engineers.  In December 2014, OWPR presented the Frederick County School Board with the conceptual design for the school.  The design was developed after OWPR spent more than a year gathering stakeholder input, considering ways to improve building design based on lessons learned from past projects, and working with staff to better understand instructional best practices.  The design was developed to achieve a variety of project goals that include:
  • Foster collaborative learning and positive social interaction among students and faculty
  • Foster cross-curricular collaboration
  • Encourage critical thinking through problem and project based learning
  • Transparency within the building so that student interests are spurred by seeing the work of their peers
  • Spaces that are not curriculum-specific, enable flexibility of instruction or easily accommodate new curriculum and pedagogies
  • An environment that fosters the school division’s one-to-one technology initiative and encourages the use of technology
  • Passive safety and security measures
  • Environmentally conscious design
  • The building as a classroom (Learning from the building systems)
  • Outdoor learning areas
  • Encourage physical activity for all students and faculty