School Board to Consider Recommendation for Northwood Expansion

CORRECTION: We mistook the date on the .pdf for the date of action. The board is scheduled to consider this recommendation from the superintendent at tonight’s meeting. The March 14 document (linked to below) was the final report to the board.

The Montgomery County School Board has approved a recommendation to proceed with a two-year expansion project at Northwood High School on University Boulevard West.

The board also approved using what would become a reopened Charles W. Woodward High School as a holding school for Northwood students in the 2023-24 school year.

The Woodward location at 11211 Old Georgetown Rd., about seven miles from Northwood, is currently used as the Tilden Middle School and would open as a comprehensive high school in September 2025.

The Northwood project would increase the capacity of the school by about 1,200 students, to 2,700. Under the approved plan, students would return to the school in September 2025 while work continued at the site through the summer of 2026.

A reopened Woodward High School would help relieve overcrowding at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, which is projected to be nearly 700 students over capacity in the 2024-25 school year. Woodward also would be available to absorb students from other schools in the Downcounty Consortium (Northwood, Montgomery Blair, John F. Kennedy, Albert Einstein and Wheaton high schools).

The school board considered several other locations for the Northwood holding school, including the former Discovery headquarters building, the company’s former production facility on Kennett Street (both in downtown Silver Spring), and the Washington Adventist Hospital site in Takoma Park once the hospital relocated to its new White Oak facility.

The $123 million budget for the approved project also includes an addition at Kennedy High School.

Northwood opened in 1956 and was closed in 1985 due to changing demographics in the county. From 1987 to 2004, Northwood was used as a holding school for students from other high schools as they underwent renovations. The school was re-opened in 2004 to address a population increase in the area.

Photo of Northwood High School by Mike Diegel.

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