Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Zoning commission approves GW/School Without Walls plan

WASHINGTON - The District of Columbia Zoning Commission unanimously approved (4-0) the joint Planned Unit Development (PUD) application by the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and The George Washington University on Monday, Nov. 13, 2006. The Zoning Commission's approval will set in motion plans for the modernization of and addition to the School Without Walls and the development of a new GW residence hall.

"The commission's decision is a significant milestone for the School Without Walls, bringing much needed renovation to this quality academic program," said GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg. "GW's partnership with the school and DCPS is truly a model for public private partnerships in the District. Further, the new residence hall for the University will help us continue to meet on-campus housing requirements, as well as provide students with apartment-style housing options. We sincerely appreciate the collaborative efforts of all those involved. I am grateful for the leadership of Clifford Janey, superintendent of D.C. Schools, and Peggy Cooper Cafritz, president of the D.C. Board of Education, without whom this would not have transpired."

As a result of the Zoning Commission's approval, GW will purchase the school's back parking lot and development rights to build a new, 474-bed residence hall with approximately 178 underground parking spaces. The school will use the approximately $12 million generated from the sale in addition to $6 million already allocated by DCPS to modernize the ailing facilities and create additional space for classrooms, a library, and a media center. The agreement between the school and the University also expands the existing programmatic partnership, which includes facilities sharing, teaching collaboration, internships, educator training, and educational opportunities for students, faculty, and staff of the school...

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