Posted tagged ‘Park View School’

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:


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


Park View School Gets New Entry Doors

October 11, 2012

I was pleased to see that the historic Park View School has new entry doors on the original 1916 building. While the doors are not replicas of the original solid oak panel doors, they are in keeping with the design of the original doors. This is one of the benefits of the landmark status of the building, which ensures that something like new doors is in keeping with the spirit of the building’s design. In any event, as you look at the before and after images below, I think you’ll agree that the doors are a vast improvement over what they replaced.

School doors prior to renovation

New replacement doors


Sneak Peek at Renovations at the Park View School

August 24, 2012

With the first day of classes starting on Monday, August 27th, I wanted to post some images of the completed Phase I modernization of the Bruce-Monroe @ Park View Elementary School. There will also be a ribbon cutting on Monday to get things started.

After touring the building yesterday, I can honestly say that Turner Construction did a bang up job. We were very fortunate to have them, and their level of care and craftsmanship throughout the building is evident.

Keep in mind as you look at the following photos that the Phase I modernization was primarily focused on upgrading the classrooms. Two more scheduled phases will complete the renovations. Also, the faculty and staff are still busily moving back into the building and getting ready for the start of classes.

Newly renovated classroom.

Part of the computer lab.

School library with new bookshelves.

The old kindergarten room in the 1931 south wing has beautiful oak wainscoting, which was restored.

Another view of the room with wainscoting.

The former balcony of the auditorium has been converted into the school’s welcome center (i.e., front office). The oak window at the top of the stairs is an original window from the building that has been repurposed.


Modernization Update for Historic Park View School

July 25, 2012

Upon entering the building on Otis Place, this is the view on the first floor looking south toward the main entrance.

I had an opportunity to look at how the renovations were going at the Bruce-Monroe @ Park View School yesterday. By and large I am impressed and think that the community really lucked out by having Turner Construction work on the building. It was very clear in talking to the Turner representative that a lot of respect and TLC was being given to the historic structure.

But before I talk about that, I’m happy to report that everything appears to be going ahead as planned. Renovations are in an advanced state and all should be ready for school to start on schedule this fall. After all, that is the paramount goal. The heating and cooling systems are getting their planned upgrades and the classrooms will definitely be state of the art.

Regarding the historical aspect of the building, the chief concern is the school’s auditorium. But as that is not included in this phase of the modernization I wasn’t expecting to see anything out of the ordinary. But the level of care Turner has taken to preserve the original woodwork that was in 1916 building’s classrooms is clearly above and beyond. They have also preserved the display cabinets that are located in several key locations around the building.

But, the most impressive restoration effort is in the 1931 south wing’s first grade classroom that was originally designed as a “Literature Class Room.” Of all the rooms in the school, that was the only one that had solid oak wainscoting … and even though it was not within the scope of the project to save it, Turner has decided to both save and restore it. Below is a photo giving a small indication of what that room will look like when it’s finished.

The school’s original Literature Class Room has oak wainscoting that is being restored.


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