Posted tagged ‘Park View School’

Repairs Coming for Park View School Playground

September 18, 2017

As some in the community may already know, on the evening of Friday, September 1, at 9:30 pm there was a fire on the Bruce-Monroe @ Park View playground on the south side of the building. Fortunately, one of the custodians was able to alert the fire department which responded quickly. It is suspected that the fire was intentionally set and a section of rubberized material along with one of the pieces of playground equipment were destroyed. That has all since been removed.

On Friday, September 15, I was able to connect with the Department of General Services (DGS) and found out that they are unable to exactly replace the playground equipment that was damaged — however they did find something very similar. The recommended replacement has been sent to DCPS for review and sign off, after which the orders will be placed and the playground repaired.

While at DGS, I also pointed out the leaning wall along Newton Place. I know this has been a concern for many over the years, though until recently it appeared to be largely stable. Over the past several months, however, the wall appears to be less stable and the winter weather could further compromise its integrity with water freezing and thawing. DGS has agreed to inspect the wall to determine if the time has finally arrived to repair it.

(Above and below: Damaged area of playground awaiting repairs at Bruce-Monroe @ Park View)

 

 

Fossils at Park View School

August 17, 2017

A while ago I found a website that explores fossils in the architecture of Washington, D.C. by Christopher Barr. The site is organized by geological periods and shows examples of fossils that are in stone used in local buildings. I was immediate drawn to the sections on Sacred Heart Church and the Unification Church on 16th Street.

But as I reviewed the site, I suspected that we would also have fossils in the limestone used at the Park View School — and after inspecting the school, my hunch was right. As near as I can tell, the limestone appears to be Indiana Limestone from the Mississippian period. Below are photos of some of the fossils I found at the school.

(An area of trace fossils or, more technically, “ichnofossils”. These are located on the north side of the entry doors on Warder Street.)

(The structures that resemble netting are typically fenestrate bryozoans.)

New Cafeteria for Park View School on Track for Fall 2018

April 27, 2017

At the April 26, 2017, School Improvement Team (SIT) meeting for the Bruce-Monroe @ Park View Elementary School, the Department of General Services announced the architects, builders, and timeline for the new cafeteria project. The project is aiming to break ground in the winter of 2017 and be completed by August 2018, in time for the new academic year. The architect chosen is Shinberg Levinas with Winmar Construction chosen as the general contractor.

The scope of the project includes a full kitchen, a larger dining space, a new loading zone, and a regrading of the parking lot at the rear of the building along Newton Place. Leading up to construction, the design team will be developing the plans and getting permits. During construction, there will be times when there will be no off street parking for the school’s teachers. No plan was shared at the SIT meeting on what, if any, accommodations would be made for teachers during the reconstruction of the parking lot. Another issue that was raised was the configuration and condition of the alley behind the school, which is currently very narrow and difficult for school deliveries and regular trash collection.

The estimated schedule for the project is below. The entire slide deck from the meeting and additional information and updates are/will be available at the Bruce Monroe @ Park View school modernization Web page.

Additional Funds Dedicated to Modernize Bruce-Monroe @ Park View School Cafeteria

March 25, 2016

Yesterday, the Bruce-Monroe @ Park View School Improvement Team (SIT) was informed that Mayor Bowser had released the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for Fiscal Years 2017-2022 and that there has been a recommended change to the project budget for the school. Currently, the school has $5.7M to put towards renovating the cafeteria, but the estimates to do so exceed that amount. In the CIP, the budget has increased by $5.5M in FY17 with the goal of modernizing and expanding the kitchen and cafeteria. More details will be forthcoming at the April SIT meeting, but this is definitely good news.

NRHP Park View School(The Bruce-Monroe at Park View School now has funding for its cafeteria modernization project.)

Brief Overview from Mayor Gray’s Ward 1 Budget Town Hall

May 9, 2014
(Click for slide deck from Ward 1 Budget Town hall meeting)

(Click for slide deck from Ward 1 Budget Town hall meeting)

Mayor Gray held his seventh Budget Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, May 6th, for Ward 1 residents. For a general overview of what Mayor Gray presented, I have scanned my copy of the handout and provided access to is to the right (click on image).

Overall, the presentation went about as I expected. I’ll highlight a few areas that I think are noteworthy for the community in particular.

1) The budget continues  to invest in education. According to the Mayor, an additional educational investment of $116M is in the budget. There is also $1.6B in the budget for citywide school modernizations.

In FY2015, $404 million is in the budget for modernization projects. The money breaks down like this:

  • High Schools – $173.8M
  • Middle Schools – $20.4M
  • Elementary Schools – $115.7M
  • General Improvements – $94.4M

There are no Ward 1 schools in the modernization budget for FY2015 … however the following Ward 1 schools are in the five year budget projection:

  • Banneker HS – $67.1M
  • Bancroft ED – $35.4M
  • Marie Reed ES – $45.5 M (this building would be razed and completely rebuilt)
  • Tubman ES – $11.2M
  • Adams ES – $12.2M
  • Washington Metro ES – $949M

2) Beyond schools, the following items also struck me as noteworthy:

  • $100M to Affordable Housing — including a $1M increase to emergency rental assistance, a $1M increase to rapid rehousing, and a $1M increase in home purchase assistance;
  • A $2M increase in funding for Senior Wellness Centers (I know this is greatly needed and hope to see the Ward 1 Center on Georgia Avenue benefit from this);
  • Funding for a police force of over 4,000 officers; and,
  • Funding for the streetcar system ($810M), a Circulator bus garage ($41M), and $49M to purchase more Circulator buses.

What I didn’t See

The most conspicuous omission from the Budget — including the five year projection — was funding for the final phase of the modernization of the historic Park View school building. The school was originally scheduled to be modernized in three phases falling in fiscal year’s 2012, 2016, and 2018. The 2012 modernization included a lot of work beyond a normal phase one, so while I was disappointed to see the 2016 phase removed from last year’s budget, I wasn’t surprised either. However, the complete removal of the school from the projected five-year budget this time around was unexpected.

To this point, Councilmember Graham attended a few minutes of the Mayor’s Town Hall at the beginning of the evening and brought up the absence of Ward 1 schools from the FY15 budget along with the removal of the Bruce-Monroe @ Park View work entirely. At the end of the presentation, I also sought clarification on the modernization issue during the question portion of the meeting at the end of the program.

In response to my query, Director Hanlon of the Department of General Services mentioned that the final phase for the Park View school is now scheduled for 2021. Mayor Gray added that if there were any urgent issues at the school that there might be an opportunity to have them addressed through other programs and encouraged me to send him a list of priorities.

As of the time of this writing, I have already obtained and submitted the school’s list of priorities, and am in the process of setting up the appropriate meetings to see where we get. I’ll keep all informed I make progress.

Happily, an elevator and two lifts have already been approved to address the school’s need to be in ADA compliance with work beginning this now.

 

Park View School Now Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

May 20, 2013

Here’s some good news to start the week — the Park View School was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 1, 2013. The summary from the National Park Service’s Website is as follows:

Summary:

The Park View School was constructed in 1916 to provide a school for the Park View community. The Park View neighborhood, adjacent to the Old Soldiers’ Home, originated in 1886 with the platting of a former estate known as “Whitney Close” into a residential subdivision. An explosion of rowhouse development in Park View came after 1904, and a new citizens’ association formed in 1908. Development was so rapid that by 1910, the Park View Citizens’ Association began demanding an elementary school for the neighborhood’ s 600 children, most of whom were pupils at the Hubbard and Petworth Schools. Although it took several years, the Citizens’ Association won a commitment for a twelve-room school, to serve some of the then 900 neighborhood children. In 1914, Municipal Architect Snowden Ashford began drawings for a sixteen-room school that was constructed and opened in 1916. The Park View School was designed in a Tudor Gothic style favored by Ashford, particularly for the city ‘s public school buildings.

NRHP Park View School

Historic Photographs Show Residents Registering for World War I at Park View School

April 5, 2013
From the Terence Vincent Powderly photographic print collection (The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives).

From the Terence Vincent Powderly photographic print collection (The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives).

Recently, I learned about a great collection of historic photographs housed at Catholic University — The Terence Vincent Powderly collection. It has many great images of the Petworth/Park View/Soldiers’ Home area from the late 1910’s. In perusing the collection, I found three from June 5, 1917, that document war registration at the Park View School at the start of World War I. Thus far, these are the only photographs I am aware of that show this event as it occurred in residential Washington.

According to Wikipedia, The Selective Service Act or Selective Draft Act authorized the federal government to raise a national army for the American entry into World War I through conscription. It was envisioned in December 1916 and brought to President Woodrow Wilson’s attention shortly after the break in relations with Germany in February 1917.

At the time of World War I, the U.S. Army was small compared with the mobilized armies of the European powers. As late as 1914, the federal army was under 100,000, while the National Guard (the organized militias of the states) numbered around 115,000. The National Defense Act of 1916 authorized the growth of the army to 165,000 and the National Guard to 450,000 by 1921, but by 1917 the federal army had only expanded to around 121,000, with the National Guard numbering 181,000.

From the Terence Vincent Powderly photographic print collection (The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives).

From the Terence Vincent Powderly photographic print collection (The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives).

To accomplish war registration in the District of Columbia, the city was divided into 41 districts. Using the eleven existing police precincts, each was further subdivided with a registration station in each district (see map below). Forty schools and one factory were selected as registration stations — with Park View School servicing Precinct No. 10E. It is this station that Powderly photographed on registration day.

By all accounts, registration day occurred in an orderly and patriotic fashion in Washington. Dozens of community celebrations were held during the day by the various citizens’ association of the District, which reached a climax at the large celebration at the Sylvan Theater in the Monument grounds in the afternoon.

By the end of the day, it was reported that 32,327 District men had enrolled as liable to conscription for war service. Additionally, the District carried off the honor of being the first territorial unit in the country to report its registration returns to the War Department … and along with Delaware and Vermont, the among the first to have completed and filed official war registration reports by June 7, 1917.

Districts and Stations for Registration on June 5

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