The 2020-21 Urbana Elementary School community has already gotten a jump on fulfilling its mission statement, “Learning today, leading tomorrow.” At the Oct. 11 groundbreaking, Maryland State Treasurer Nancy Kopp said, “I don’t know any other community where before the ground is broken, you’ve already built two stories of a new school. This is enthusiasm!”
Leading tomorrow in more than just its groundbreaking, the replacement Urbana Elementary School “will be a multistory facility totaling 98,178 gross square feet on the 19-acre site of the original Urbana Elementary School,” said Urbana Elementary Principal Tracy Hilliard. “Our Urbana Elementary School replacement will be an energy-efficient building that at minimum meets the LEED, which is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Silver Certification requirements. Several initiatives include the positioning of the school to best use natural light sources, the use of light-harvesting light fixtures as well as a geothermal HVAC system.”
But in leading tomorrow, the Urbana Elementary community will build upon its rich past. “Just a little history about our original Urbana Elementary School,” Hilliard shared. “The original school was built in 1960 and opened its doors with 13 classrooms and one bus. … The bus shuttled students to and from school in shifts, so they didn’t all come at one time. … The school was dedicated in December of 1960, and it had renovations in 1965 and 1975.”
Board of Education President Brad Young remembered the 1975 renovation.
“This school has had a strong history in this part of the community,” he said. “I have a great love of education. That comes from being the product of two Frederick County Public Schools teachers. My mom went on to get her first principalship right here at Urbana Elementary, and she was indeed principal in 1975 when that renovation was done, so I saw that renovation happen. … Urbana holds a very special memory in my heart as well.”
Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner spoke of the progress being made on the county’s multiyear plan to eliminate overcrowding in Urbana. “Years ago, I became interested in Frederick County government and serving in political office because of school overcrowding,” she shared. “My own children were in overcrowded schools, and I’ve really worked very hard to try to make sure that we can deliver adequate schools for our students.”
Kopp noted, “Down in Annapolis, Frederick is known as a county that is dedicated to education, to families and growth.
“There is no investment more important, I believe, than the public schools, the communities, the families and the scholars because they are really our investment in the future,” she added. “We’re banking on you all, and we are here to do all we can to make the next generation truly the greatest generation.”