Help plan new uses for Comsat site in Clarksburg

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

By Susan Singer-Bart

People and Places

Master architect Cesar Pelli is coming to this weekend to help plan ways to reuse the Comsat building in Clarksburg. Pelli has agreed to lead a three-day charrette under the sponsorship of Montgomery Preservation Inc. Saturday through Monday on the Montgomery College Rockville campus to help save the building. The purpose of the charrette is to develop three different concepts for Comsat, which will be presented Tuesday night at the Montgomery Preservation Inc. 20th anniversary awards ceremony.

Local residents, architects, planners, environmentalists, preservationists, technology historians, government officials, developers, builders and other stakeholders are invited to participate in the charrette.

Participating in the charrettes is free. Come join in one or all of the six sessions. Each will focus on a different aspect. The morning sessions start at 9 a.m., the afternoon sessions start at 1:30 p.m.

Comsat is one of Pelli’s earliest works. The building, at the northern end of Montgomery County faces Interstate 270.

The charrette will be held in the Technical Center Building of the Department of Applied Technologies. Montgomery Preservation’s awards ceremony will be held in the Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center, also on the Rockville campus. Cost to attend the award ceremony is $25 in advance for members, $30 in advance for others and $35 at the door for everyone. For updated information about the Comsat charrette or for tickets visit⁄.

Audition for fall‘Bye Bye Birdie’

The Damascus Theatre Company is holding auditions for its fall production, ‘‘Bye Bye Birdie.” Auditions are June 9 from 7 to10 p.m., and June 10 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Damascus Performing Arts Center, 9815 Main Street. Call 301-253-6210 for an appointment. Prepare an up-tempo song and come prepared to dance. Bring a picture (snapshots are fine) and resume if possible. Callbacks will be June 12 from 7 to 10 p.m. Rehearsals start the week of June 19.

The show’s director is Laura Stark, the vocal director is Marci Shegogue and the choreographer is Camille Abramson. Show dates are Sept. 8-10 and Sept. 15-17.

Congratulations high school grads

Hats off to all the graduating high school seniors in our area. What an accomplishment — congratulations to you, your teachers and your families. Damascus High School will hold its graduation on the athletic field Tuesday at 10 a.m. U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona is the featured speaker.

Hometown Heroes features Poolesville teacher, student

Joyce Bailey, an environmental sciences teacher at Poolesville High School and her student Zainab Nejati are the focus of a month-long WETA-TV’s Hometown Heroes profile airing in May. WETA selected Bailey and Nejati for their deep commitment to environmental protection and their singular abilities to motivate others to take action to protect the environment, both locally and around the world. Their profile repeated throughout the month.

Bailey has inspired hundreds of students over the years, through her advance placement and honors courses at Poolesville. Bailey was the impetus for the creation of the Poolesville chapter of Roots and Shoots, a student-driven environmental activist group created by renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall. The Poolesville chapter is among the most active in the world. Bailey’s innovative course work through her Global Ecological Studies Program at Poolesville High challenges students through fieldwork. Bailey believes that seeing is believing, and has brought her students face to face with environmental issues and how they play out ‘‘on the ground.”

Nejati is a motivated and committed student leader on environmental and cultural issues. She is the president of the Poolesville chapter of Roots and Shoots, and as such has proven adept at fostering creativity and consensus among her peers, thereby prompting action steps that make an impact. Nejati was recently awarded the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Arthur Dorman Scholarship, in recognition of her commitment to both the environment and to strengthening her community.

WETA’s Hometown Heroes honors individuals who are impacting the regions’ environmental issues through many fields, including the arts, literacy, health and education.

Items appropriate for People and Places must be received by 9 a.m. Friday. They can be sent by mail to Damascus-Clarksburg Gazette, 1200 Quince Orchard Blvd., Gaithersburg, MD 20878. They can also be sent by fax to 301-670-7183 or e-mailed to