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.
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.