Houston Middle School Addition

The Addition

42,544 square feet addition to the existing building at Houston Middle School.

View a walk-through of the space

View the renderings by a2h

View the 1.5.21 Community meeting

HMS Addition faqs

Houston Middle School Addition FAQs

Have they evaluated the safety risks of adding this north drive next to the clubhouse and homes, as well as how this will negatively impact the traffic flow?

GMSD staff at both the school and district level, A2H Architects and Engineers, and the Germantown Police Department have evaluated the existing traffic patterns and will continue to monitor future traffic patterns. Traffic patterns will remain the same on the HMS campus.

Why would the south drive in front of the school, which is close to the existing intersection, not be sufficient without the north drive?

Multiple drives are required in order to provide access for school buses, emergency vehicles, utilities, deliveries, etc. School buses enter and exit the school campus during the same periods of time daily (arrival and dismissal). Our buses must use a separate entrance and exit point, and we currently have two drives on Johnson Boulevard to accommodate this need. The new plan does not alter the number of drives on Johnson Boulevard.

However, based on community feedback from our first townhall meeting, we will be moving the north drive further south. The future bus exit will no longer be directly across from the front entrance of a residence, see below:

Is the plan to use the new gymnasium for tournaments and games by other non-HMS teams/groups, which would result in more traffic at night and weekends?

No, the primary purpose of the gym is to provide better physical education opportunities. However, there may be times where the gym is used for school athletic events, tournaments, etc.

What is the plan for the parking lot lights and school lighting? Will they be on all night? If so, how will they reduce this impact on the neighborhood?

Parking lot lights will be on all night, not doing so creates safety issues. However, we will meet Germantown code when it comes to brightness because we use new LED lighting and light shields. We added light shields in order to limit the conical spread at the Riverdale Addition and Forest Hill Elementary School in order to accommodate our neighbors. It is encouraged for neighbors to visit either of these locations during the evening and also look at how landscaping buffers have reduced light emissions.

What is the plan for a buffer between the homes and school? If the north drive is provided, how will they provide a buffer between the school/parking lot and the homes nearby at that point?

A landscaping buffer is included in the plans. It is encouraged for community members to see examples of GMSD landscaping on both the Forest Hill Elementary and Riverdale, and the aesthetic improvement on these campuses.

Since your demographic study doesn't indicate a significant increase in students in the future, is it the intent to move children from other schools to HMS?

No, the demographic study did not include build-out in the City of Germantown. Since this study was conducted, 634 housing units have been approved. This project adds, minimally, 180 additional student space for new Germantown students and allows the district to solve its current programmatic and capacity issues. We anticipate growth per our demographer’s projections over the next 5 years.

How will these new parking spaces eliminate the pickup traffic on Johnson Road in the afternoon? Currently, there is a significant issue with cars parking in front of the homes, using the clubhouse, and making U-turns on Johnson Road.

The new parking spaces help eliminate parents parking in the neighborhood during after school events.

What percentage of students at Houston Middle School are non-residents?

3%. Currently there are only 30 non-residents at Houston Middle. The majority of these 30 students are children of GMSD employees and City of Germantown employees. There are also some eighth graders who were current GMSD students.

Will there be any renovations to the current building?

Yes, similar to the projects completed at Riverdale, Dogwood, and Farmington, the existing building will receive a new ceiling tile/grid, new LED lights, and new HVAC units. The fire department has also identified that a new sprinkler system needs to be installed throughout the building. Some existing spaces may receive adjustments to accommodate a new programmatic focus. The current band room, for example, may be renovated to created additional classroom space or an orchestra room.

When does construction begin and when is it likely to be complete? How many months will construction last? Will there be requirements to keep construction mess off the street and leave the area looking nice?

We are optimistic construction will begin in the summer of 2021 and be completed by the summer of 2022. As with all of our projects, we will be adhering to all Germantown City requirements for construction and make every effort to be a good neighbor while construction is ongoing.

Cost of the project and how will it be funded? Impact on property taxes for Grove Park residents?

This project will be funded by a City of Germantown bond and the school district general fund. There will be no impact on property taxes for Germantown residents.

What is the signage plan for traffic and the lane striping plan for the traffic flow?

All standard signage and striping will be done according to Germantown code.

What will prevent the school district from changing the policies you have laid out in the future?

We cannot guarantee the actions of future school boards or administrations. However, the design of this building should relieve capacity issues and programmatic needs of the school. As always, if Germantown Municipal School District decides to alter policies, attendance zoning, design plans, they will continue to engage with stakeholders as a part of the decision-making process.

If all of the new subdivisions including the Gtown Country Club property are developed, will the additional HMS building be able to handle this capacity?

This is a difficult question to answer, because it is dependent on so many varying factors; estimations of students produced from buildout could range from 90 students in the middle school grade band to 300 students. The district is also unable to predict how City commissions could change zoning or what developments they will approve in the future. This project will meet our most immediate needs, but there may be needs for additional capacity in the future. The projected rate of households to students in the City of Germantown is 0.39. We believe that with the addition of many of the approved units (which are being forecasted to be family-friendly) that this ratio could shift over a period of ten years. We believe that the excellent schools is one of the top two reasons that people move to Germantown. Should that ratio shift, or the City approve additional units (including the Germantown Country Club), the district may need to address over enrollment at the middle school level in the future. This problem will not be unique to Houston Middle School, but will also effect Riverdale Middle School.

Have you approached the city about acquiring the 3 G schools out of that a dead issue?

The City of Germantown and Germantown Municipal School District are always interested in acquiring those schools. Representatives from both parties have spoken with administration at Shelby County Schools. They do not have the intention of selling those properties or providing them to our school district at this time. This does not mean that if at any time their intention changes that we consider it to be a ‘dead issue’. GMSD would always welcome the possibility.

Have we conducted noise studies for the bus traffic as it exists today and what it would be with the new pattern ? I can hear the bus traffic now that it is several hundred yards away , I cannot imagine what it will be at 50 yards or less.

Not at this time, but this is something we could consider. The design plans will alter none of the current traffic patterns, so it seems unlikely to have an effect on the noise pollution of the neighborhood. The changes recently made to the proposed plan, aligning the new drives with the existing drives should also lessen any impact.

Have we explored relocating the school?

No, not at this time. As the district learned through the school site selection process with Forest Hill Elementary School—there are not many viable and available parcels at which a school can currently be added or relocated. Financially, this would be tens of millions more than an expansion.

I hope you plan to renovate the current bathrooms—they are gross.

Bathroom renovations for all schools, including Houston Middle School are listed in our 5-Year Master Facility Plan.

Will Grove Park Clubhouse overflow be able to park on school property?

Yes, GMSD administration is always happy to work with neighbors. However, we have to make sure that any coordination would not conflict with existing school safety and functions.