Thursday, May 07, 2015

Bethesda Country Day School could have competition to lease Alta Vista ES

Bethesda Country Day School is the longstanding tenant at the former Alta Vista Elementary School at 5615 Beech Avenue, and it wants to stay there. But under Montgomery County code, the facility has to be put "on the market" to all possible bidders whose uses would comply with a residential zone.

The county is currently accepting bids through July 24, 2015 from interested parties. BCDS is privately-operated by Nobel Learning Communities, and - according to the Department of General Services - has expressed interest in renewing its lease.

Alta Vista ES is on the Parents' Coalition of Montgomery County's "Unused Public School Sites" list, and the amount of development ahead in Bethesda has many asking how much longer Montgomery County Public Schools can wait to reclaim some of these facilities.

Indeed, whoever wins the use of Alta Vista this time around will have to abide by a termination clause in the lease. That clause stipulates that MCPS can kick the tenant out "at any time during the term" if it becomes needed as a public school again.


Anonymous said...

I hope they don't vacate soon. My daughter is due to start preschool there in September!

Robert Dyer said...

7:19: My guess would be that the lease probably runs out at a later date, and that these bids are being taken in advance of that. Usually the existing tenant seems to return at these schools. They often have made capital improvements at their own expense, as well. So the county probably doesn't want to boot an existing private school tenant out. But the bidding is happening nonetheless under the rules.

Anonymous said...

The lease does not end until June of 2016, and the school has already expressed their intent to renew to all parents. BCDS has been a great place to attend, and will remain so. This is just a formality that all Montgomery County owned building tenants need to go through.

peter said...

I would add that Alta Vista is not too far from Wyngate ES, which just had a big addition put on. I doubt that MCPS would ever reopen the school -- would probably be better for them to just sell the property and get it over with.