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front view of South Lake Elementary School

18201 Contour Road, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877
Cluster:   Watkins Mill
Completion Date:   August 2023
Site Size:   10.2 acres
Building Size:   113,549 square feet
Building Levels:   3
Parking Spaces:   131
Cost:   $37,500,000
Student Capacity:   796
Enrollment Projections:   2023-2024: 806
2024-2025: 804
2025-2026: 787
Architect:   DLR Group
Contractor:   Dustin Construction
Project Manager:   Ken Futch, 240-740-7734


Project Objectives

This project included the replacement of the structure built in 1971 and upgrades to the gymnasium, and classrooms spaces built in 2005. The new facility addresses the space and core deficiencies of the previous building and provides additional program and support spaces for the increasing student enrollment at South Lake Elementary School. Following the guidelines provided in MCPS Regulation FAA-RA, Educational Facilities Planning, the proposed new facility was designed for a capacity of 796 students.

Project Goals
  • Provide a nurturing and effective learning environment.
  • Increase the school's capacity to accommodate the projected enrollment numbers better.
  • Incorporate healthy and sustainable designs.
  • Create a gathering area at the front of the school.
  • Zone the school for after-hour use.
  • Improve connections to the classrooms on the lower level to the rest of the school.
  • Improve access to the playfields.
  • Improve vehicular circulation for buses, staff parking, student drop-off, and service vehicles.
  • Address specific areas of concern identified by the school team.
  • The new building is organized around a central exterior courtyard with a compact plan that provides natural lighting and views for the school’s circulation and various programmatic spaces.

  • The classrooms have been designed to support interactive educational technology, including controlled, wireless computer access and interactive systems. The wireless technology throughout the building allows for computer system mobility and increased classroom utilization flexibility.

  • In addition to the 24 standard classrooms and support spaces, classrooms have been provided for pre-K (1), Head Start (1), kindergarten (3), Multidisciplinary Education, Training, and Support (METS) (1), music (1), instrumental (1), and dual purposes (1).

  • Occupants have high levels of control over individual lighting and thermal comfort, promoting an enhanced indoor environment.

  • Bike racks encourage students and staff to improve their physical and mental health while helping the environment.



Reports for the former facility: