From 1962-2017: The Ever Evolving Face of Linganore High School
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Ever wonder what Linganore looked like back when it opened in 1962? It was quite different than what it looks today.
There were a lot fewer housing developments in and around the Linganore district than there are in 2017. There were more endless fields, farms and a lot less traffic. The driveway was even originally dirt in the design drawings.
How has the identity of Linganore changed in the last 55 years?
Linganore was the third high school to open in Frederick County, to accommodate the growing population within the county. The school was built to hold 1254 students.
Growth in population lead to additions to the school in 1972, 1983 and 1985. And of course, there was the construction of the replacement school, starting in 2008 and opening 2011.
The school as a whole, while not the oldest school in the county (the beginning of the Middletown district’s history spans back to 1888 and the original Frederick High School opened in 1939), has had quite an evolution. At the moment, we are in the early to middle stages of this evolution.
What were students thinking back in the 1960’s after the school opened? For those students, it was most likely the feelings current students have towards the still new(er) school. Excited, taking the cleanliness for granted and not necessarily thinking about the future.
Little by little, the towns increased in size, with subdivisions and neighborhoods being built. Additions were made to increase capacity ten years after the initial opening. The interesting factor here is that three additional high schools opened in that span of 10 years.
Brunswick High School opened in 1965, serving the southwestern corner of Frederick County. Governor Thomas Johnson High School opened in 1966 to help relieve student population pressure in at Frederick High School. In the north, Catoctin High School opened for students of the town of Thurmont. Then the first addition to Linganore was constructed in 1972.
Two years later, Middletown High School was constructed, opened in 1974. Walkersville was built two years later, opening in 1976. Linganore High School’s next addition came in 1983, with the last addition coming in 1985.
Ten years after the last addition, Urbana High School came into existence, helping to pull some students away from Linganore in 1995. Tuscarora High School opened in 2004.
As time wore on and the district expanded, Linganore not only reached, but exceeded capacity. It became very clear that Linganore was in need of a total rebuild rather than attempting to renovate or add on.
The infrastructure was failing. There was an excessive number of portable classrooms (over two dozen!). The school was a mismatch of additions that never really completely emulated the original school’s design.
In early summer of 2008, students left the old building, teachers a few weeks later. The building was torn down in 2008, with students moved to “Linganore at Oakdale” for two years in waiting while the new building was completed.
The school of Oakdale had portable classrooms since the opening to accommodate essentially twice the number of students than what it was built for.
The new Linganore High School was built for 1600 students, with a mindset of green technology. There are motion sensors on the lights to save energy, permeable sidewalks of recycled concrete and skylights to get daylight into as many classrooms as possible. Windows are part of almost all classrooms. Linganore was also recognized as a building eligible to receive solar panels, but none were installed.
On August 12th, 2010, the new building was opened for the 2010-2011 school year. Since then, the building lives on as the newest high school in the county, with some of the most up to date technology across the state. Of course, Linganore will only hold this title until summer of 2017 when the new Frederick High School will open.
Across the county, the high schools from the 1960’s and 1970’s are starting to show their age. As seen with Linganore, additions are not necessarily the best answer, by any stretch of the imagination.
Elizabeth Pasierb, FCPS Facilities Planning Supervisor, said, “The next high school identified for a renovation is Middletown HS. A feasibility study to evaluate the high school and define the scope of work is scheduled for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020.”
What will happen to Linganore in the upcoming years? There are a number of new developments in planning within the district.
Monrovia Town Center (1,510 housing units), at least two neighborhoods around the West Winds neighborhood (at least 416 units) are under review and even beginning construction. Even the farm field across Old Annapolis Road from Linganore is under review to be divided into 3 lots.
Take a look at those numbers for a moment. Do the addition of those homes alone, and say that a family moved into every home. That amounts to just under 2,000 students being added into the Linganore feeder pattern. And that’s only one student per household.
Of course, this is all hypothetical and numbers could go either direction. Either way, there will be at least some sort of influx of students into the district.
Then next question is, where will all these students go?
If you look at the plans for the Monrovia Town Center, under the schools section, there is 50+ acres being set aside for a future high school to take the extra students.
Pasierb, said, “The school site has not been presented to the Board for their approval. There are no plans for this high school in the current six year Capital Improvement Program. (CIP)”
This means that these students will fill remaining spots at Linganore, continually put Urbana over capacity and place students in Oakdale. Oakdale also has quite a few developments in planning that will fill in their district.
In conclusion, in the future, we can expect to see more neighborhoods, developments and an overall further evolution of the identity of Linganore High School.
Photos courtesy of Linganore yearbook collection.