Friday, July 22, 2022

Woodward High School construction


The old Woodward High School (and Tilden Middle School) was demolished in the Spring of 2021 (see my posts here and here and here). Since then there hasn't been much to see. It has just been flat, bare ground with a construction fence around it.  They hadn't forgotten about it, but the work that was done wasn't very visible.  Now that has changed.  The are three stories of steel girders up outlining part of the new school.

Most of the site is still vacant, but there are piles of construction material in some places.

This project is officially called the "Charles W. Woodward High School Reopening Project" and you can get the full details of MCPS's plans at that link.  Construction will be in two phases.  Phase 1 will end at the start of the 2023 school year when it will be a holding school for Northwood HS while that school gets extensive remodeling.  For the 2025 school year it will be reopened as Woodward High School (unless the name gets changed). The boundaries for the new school haven't been determined but it is expected to relieve the crowding at local high schools such as Walter Johnson HS.

There will be a Phase 2 which will have at least a second gymnasium, auditorium, and athletic site amenities the timing for this phase is to start in the summer of 2023 and be finished in time for the 2025 school year.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Thoughts on having a PHEV for a year


I have had a Plug-in Hybrid RAV 4 for over a year now. I wrote about my experience here. I have charged in the Montgomery County public garages in Bethesda and Silver Spring on a regular basis. The cost is quite reasonable at 13 cents a kilowatt hour, but some of the chargers are broken. 

 Charging at publicly available chargers in other places is less convenient, there aren’t too many of them and keeping track of which network they are on is a hassle. The Volta chargers are free, but there are only a few of them I don’t go out of my way, but if they are there I’ll use them. The downtown Bethesda Safeway has them as does Montgomery Mall. I’m glad the public chargers exist, but I wish there were more of them and they were kept in better repair.

Here are the highlights of the longer article (but read it for more context):

  1. If you can charge at home or at work, PHEV’s are a great option, they save money on fuel and are better for the environment

  2. I drive about 80% of my miles on electric. All my local driving including work commutes is electric, long distance trips are in hybrid mode.

  3. Overnight charging using a simple 120 volt outlet is convenient and I don’t miss trips to the gas stations.

  4. Charging during the day rarely adds a useful amount of miles. (but if I could charge at work it would be great)

  5. My home electric rate is 14 cents per KWH, this works out to the equivalent of $1.50 a gallon gas.

  6. I wish all PHEV’s supported at least 6.6KW AC charging and DC Fast Charging. This would make them even better.

  7. All hotels should have at least a Level 2 charger. This would make overnight trips much easier. Even having 120 volt electrical outlets would also be useful for me, not many hotels have those either.



Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Reflections of Windows

In the morning, the sunlight reflects of windows onto the blank wall of Garage 35, the Woodmont-Rugby Garage.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Flowers and a straw

 Someone left a curly straw next to flowers outside of Hanaro Sushi on the corner of Norfolk Ave and St. Elmo Ave.

Monday, July 4, 2022

The Bethesda crab is changing color

Right in the center of Bethesda, at the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and East-West Highway is the Crescent Building.  When you are driving down Old Georgetown Road it is probably the most recognizable thing you see, mostly because of the odd neon sculpture at the top.  I actually first posted about it over  a decade ago, after I found out it is an abstract crab.  It has been a bright red companion for as long as I can remember.  Not too long ago, however, it turned blue for a short period of time (Maryland blue crab perhaps?) before going back to the traditional red.  Now it is at it again! Except, instead of just being blue, it is cycling through a whole palette of collors.  I stood by the road in the middle of the night just to bring you all the colors it can be.  At the bottom there is a video where you can watch the whole cycle.

Friday, July 1, 2022

The Rae apartments, construction continues

The Rae is a new 343-unit, five-story apartment building being constructed on Motor City Drive across from the Home Depot and Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Maryland.  This is the site of the former Ourisman Ford car dealership.  I most recently posted about the construction of the Rae back in April and a lot of progress has been made since then.
 The final shape of the building is clear now.  The full height of the building is up and the outer walls are sheathed in Tyvek.  No windows are in yet and the roof isn't on.  This is the view from the corner of Motor City Drive and Westlake Terrace, right near Montgomery Mall.
The Rae apartments parking garage entrance.

 The central core of the building is a multi-story parking garage.   The concrete walls of the garage were ugly when they were exposed, but now the wood built apartment floors hid them and it looks much better.

The far side of the Rae apartments, nearest to Home Depot and the Post Office.  Construction isn't quite as far along here, the walls of the final floor of apartments are still going up.