SILVER SPRING, Md. (CBSDC) — Montgomery County Public Schools are “bursting at the seams.”

That was the message Superintendent Joshua P. Starr delivered while announcing his $1.55 billion construction plan Monday.

In the past six years, the school system has grown by 14,000 students, mostly in its elementary schools, Starr said. Enrollment is expected to grow by an additional 11,000 students by 2020. Many schools are already at capacity.

Starr recommends 14 new classroom addition projects and the construction of five new schools.

In order to stretch the limited funding, Starr also recommends that 20 revitalization and expansion projects within the county be delayed.

The cost of Starr’s proposal is $1.55 billion, though he says the financial need for additional facilities, improved infrastructure, and technology is actually more like $2.2 billion. He says he hopes to get some additional funding from the state.

Starr’s recommendations will be reviewed by the Montgomery County Board of Education. The Board will then hold two public hearings on Nov. 11 and Nov. 14. More information about how to register to testify at those hearings is available on the Board’s public participation website.

A new six-year Capital Improvements Program is approved every two years and includes investments in new schools and classroom additions, revitalization and expansion projects for existing schools, infrastructure improvements and technology.

The recommended CIP that Starr presented Monday represents a $183.9 million increase over the current CIP, which is for fiscal years 2013 through 2018.

WNEW’s Karen Adams contributed to this report. Follow her and WNEW on Twitter.

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