Monday, December 29, 2008

Wanted: Ideas for 11 empty buildings

Mayor Fenty's administration is now soliciting proposals for the redevelopment of 11 sites that were formerly DCPS schools.
The future of the schools has been under discussion since the end of the 2007-08 academic year, when Fenty (D) and Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee shut down 23 buildings. They said that declining enrollment had left the schools underused and that the money needed to keep them open could be better spent elsewhere.

In June, the administration announced that seven of the buildings would be used for government services. That plan has since evolved, with District officials considering some of the sites for housing and retail development. The District later invited charter schools and nonprofit groups to submit proposals on some of the buildings, including the former Backus Middle School in Ward 5.

The intent of yesterday's solicitation to developers is to "ask the market what's possible there and what they'd like to do," said Sean Madigan, Albert's spokesman.

The options, he said, could include housing, retail space, offices and educational facilities. "We're waiting to see what we get back, and as soon as we get them back, we'll have community meetings, and then we'll go from there," he said.


Mari said...

We had community meetings back in early Spring! Yes, those were for the closing schools, but some of the ideas are probably the same.

shortbuschronicles said...

Maybe they can make some affordable housing. I don't mean what is affordable for police officers and teachers (which to me is not really affordable.)It's ridiculous to live in a decent neighborhood in DC. I live in MD (not to far from the city.) and the only place I could probably afford to live in (with my salary) is east of the Anacostia!

DC parent said...

They were promised to charter schools. The city needs to make good on its promise.

Just because the kids left DCPS does not mean they left DC or stopped being kids! There is very high demand for space for charter schools and, while these buildings are not in great shape, most of the locations, plants, and grounds are ideally suited for schools. Schools have unique needs.

It would be bad public policy to turn the spaces into luxury condos or big box stores and then drive more families with kids into the suburbs for lack of nearby school options.

CashNDC said...

Stop selling DC NOW! Historical buildings can be used for historical purposes. While other properties should only be leased and not sold! By doing this developers of Condos and retail space will try and find other properties!

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