Posted tagged ‘Schools’

Foundation Work for Chavez School Addition Near Completion

August 5, 2013

The foundation work for the gymnasium addition to the Cesar Chavez School’s Chavez Prep Campus appears to be done, or nearly so.  The building permit for the above grade construction was finally issued on August 1, 2013, so I expect above grade construction to begin soon. In speaking to representatives of the school this spring, they had hoped to get started on the project at the end of June and have all major construction completed prior to the start of the 2013/2014 school year. I’m not sure if that goal is still possible though.

Readers will recall that the Chavez Prep Campus is housed in the historic Bruce School building at 770 Kenyon Street, NW.

Below are some photos showing the status of the project at the end of July.

View of the site from the northeast.

View of the site from the northeast.

View of the site from the southeast.

View of the site from the southeast.

Parking lot excavation in preparation of construction.

Parking lot excavation in preparation of construction.

Chavez Prep Preparing for Gymnasium Addition

July 1, 2013
Chavez Prep is getting ready to add a gymnasium addition to the east side of the building.

Chavez Prep is getting ready to add a gymnasium addition to the east side of the building.

In checking out the Cesar Chavez Charter School’s Chavez Prep Campus — located at 770 Kenyon — over the weekend I noted that they are in the beginning stages of preparing for their planned gymnasium addition. When I first reported on this addition, I didn’t have as much information to share with the public as I would have liked, but now have more details.

While the building permit was still in the review process when I checked on Friday, it looked far enough along that it could be issued soon. According to the general plans of the addition that I received, the addition will be constructed above the parking lot, preserving the first level for the off street parking the school already has. The gym will be on the second level.

Chavez had hoped to start the project in late June, which clearly hasn’t happened. I know they  have a tight window for construction as they want to have the major work done prior to the start of the school year this fall.

Below is a general sketch of what the addition will basically look like from the street. Frankly, I think the design would have been better if it had gone through the Historic Preservation Office’s design review process. But, currently charter schools, even those in District owned school buildings, are not subject to that review process.

Last month I posted a history of the Bruce School for those interested in knowing more about the building.

Elevation concept sketch of Chavez Prep's gym addition.

Elevation concept sketch of Chavez Prep’s gym addition.

Chavez Charter School’s Chavez Prep Campus Planning Addition

May 8, 2013

While several details are yet to be forthcoming, I can confirm that Cesar Chavez Charter School’s Chavez Prep Campus — located at 770 Kenyon Street, NW — is planning to build an addition to the school. The addition will be over the parking lot to the east of the building and will provide a much needed gymnasium for the school.

Construction could begin as early as late June of this year.

A gymnasium addition is in the planning for the eastern side of the old Bruce School.

A gymnasium addition is in the planning for the eastern end of the old Bruce School.

Chavez Prep is located in the old Bruce School. The original school building dates to 1895.

Chavez Prep is located in the old Bruce School. The original school building dates to 1898.

Park View Year in Review: Part II — DDOT, Schools, and Parks & Rec

December 28, 2012
New bike racks in front of DC Reynolds

New bike racks in front of Blue Banana & DC Reynolds

While private development is often at the forefront of local news, I certainly wanted to highlight some of the major changes in the neighborhood that the District government is responsible for this year. While not as glamorous to many as new condos or restaurants, I think the development the District is responsible for — especially this year — is far more important to the vibrancy of the community.

DDOT

2012 saw the completion of the Middle Georgia Avenue Great Streets project. Construction began in May 2010. In addition to curbs, gutters, and sidewalk improvements the $8M project added more bike racks to the area north of Otis Place, NW, and new trees to the intersection of New Hampshire and Georgia avenues. The project has gone a long way in making the northern portion of the neighborhood more attractive and livable.

Another change DDOT implemented this year was the enhanced residential parking program. The program has two key elements. The first is that every household in ANC 1A, 1B, and 1C receives a visitor’s parking pass so that non-Ward 1 visitors can park when visiting residents. The other change is that one side of each block in our neighborhood has been reserved for Ward 1 residents only (unless they have a visitor’s pass). While the full implementation of this part of the program seemed to take forever to implement, nearly all streets in the neighborhood now have new zoned parking signs and one can consider the program as fully in place.

Schools

Planning for the school's phase I modernization began in late 2011.

Planning for the school’s phase I modernization began in late 2011.

Modernization of the nearly century old Park View School building was a major accomplishment this year. Construction on the phase 1 modernization began on June 16th and was completed in time for the first day of classes to begin on August 27th. While the construction was only the first of three scheduled phases, it fully modernized the class rooms, main office, and library. It also updated the schools restrooms. The gymnasium and cafeteria were freshened up and will be fully modernized in one of the next phases. The historic auditorium was untouched during this round of construction.

Parks & Recreation

View of the new playground from the northwest

View of the new playground from the northwest

Just as important as the improvements made to the school and Georgia Avenue were the renovations of the Park View Recreation Center’s outdoor spaces. These renovations were a long time coming and date back to committments made several years ago. What was accomplished this year far exceeded the reworked baseball field originally presented to the community in 2009. Construction on the new playground was in full swing by early April and completed by June 18th in time for the annual Ty Hop basketball tournament.

The communtiy worked hard on this one, continually pushing DPR for more than was originally proposed. One item that wasn’t in the budget, but that all agree is needed, is a new field house to replace the cinderblock building on the corner of Otis and Newton. Even though a new field house was not in the cards, DPR did hear the community and was able to scrape together some additional funds to rework the existing field house for the short term. Work on the field house began on November 19, 2012 and will be completed in early January 2013.

What’s Next

Continuing the progress achieved by DDOT and DPR this year is going to require community involvement. The Lower Georgia Avenue Great Streets project has largely stalled. But with prospects looking good on the future of Howard Town Center, not to mention other development projects ramping up on Georgia Avenue, the time is ripe for the community to work with the District to get this back on track. The same can be said for the facility at the Park View Recreation Center. This year’s field improvements and minor building improvements are appreciated, but still fall short of what the community expects of this ammenity. We definitely want to be mindful of the DC Council’s hearing schedule this year and plan to testify and advocate for the improvements that are still needed.

Modernization at the school will be on hiatus for a few years. Phase 2 is not scheduled until 2016 and the final phase 3 is planned for 2018. Here, too, we need to be mindful of this schedule and make sure that it doesn’t slip. With additional school closings proposed for the coming years, nothing is ever set in stone. The renovations to the school this year were nothing short of stellar … and we need to ensure that they contunue until the job is done.

Next: Part III — Small Business

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E.L. Hanynes Hosts 4th Annual Holiday Bazaar this Saturday, December 1

November 29, 2012

This Saturday, December 1st, E.L. Haynes Public Charter School is holding its 4th annual holiday bazaar (poster below). The bazaar starts at 10 a.m. and is open until 2 p.m. at the E.L. Haynes Public Charter School located at 3600 Georgia Ave. NW (at Otis St., 2 blocks south of Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro Sta.). It sounds like a nice way to support the school, enjoy some baked goods, and get some holiday shopping out of the way.

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Wards 1 & 3 Spared from School Closure List

November 14, 2012

Yesterday, the long awaited list of proposed DCPS school closures and consolidations was released. The list did not contain any schools in Wards 1 or 3 among the 20 listed, although an erroneous list distributed about a week earlier on area listservs had listed both Cardozo and Bruce-Monroe @ Park View. Nearby MacFarland Middle School, in Petworth, was on the list. According to the plan, the middle school will be consolidated with adjacent Roosevelt Senior High School.

According to the D.C. Public Schools Web site, which has additional documentation about the closures, the reasoning behind the proposal to consolidate and reorganize schools is to ensure that:

  • Our programs will meet the diverse needs of our students.  We will offer a range of programs including, higher quality Career and Technical Education (CTE) opportunities across the city, special education services near the students who need them most, alternative settings for students who need extra help, and challenging offerings for advanced learners.
  • Our schools will be flexible, allowing for population growth and shifts and always ensuring that students have high-quality schools in their neighborhood as well as out-of -boundary options.
  • Our district will maximize opportunities for charter schools to complement the work we are doing.

Below is a video of D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson speaking about the reasoning behind the reorganization and what is hoped to be gained by it. Below the video is the list of schools identified for closure.


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School Enrollment Relatively Strong in Park View Area

September 7, 2012

With school closings still something Chancellor Henderson is considering in DCPS’s 5-year education plan, I was heartened to see that the elementary schools in the Park View area have strong enrollments. According to an article in the Washington Post published on August 21st, “overall, D.C. schools are operating at 75 percent capacity … and at least 21 schools have occupancy rates below 50 percent.” Low enrollment is often and indicator of potential school closures.

Park View’s elementary school has an enrollment of 102%

But in our corner of Ward 1/4, enrollments are over 80%. Harriet Tubman Elementary currently has an enrollment of 85%, Raymond Education Campus has an enrollment of 92%, and Bruce-Monroe at Park View has an enrollment of 102%.

While an increase in the area’s school-age children can explain some of the increases in enrollment … one can not ignore the impact that earlier school closings in the area have had on the enrollment of the remaining open schools.

Reviewing the interactive map of public and charter school enrollment on the Washington Post Web site provides an interesting picture on where enrollment is high and where it is low. I have provided a snapshot below, which will link to the maps at the Washington Post.

Areas in pink and maroon indicate lower school enrollments

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Community Cookout & Back to School Health Fair Tomorrow at Park View Recreation Center

August 17, 2012

Here’s a great way to unofficially bring the summer to a close, especially if you have children and need to start getting ready for school.

From the area listservs:

Back To School Community Health Fair
Park View Recreation Center

(Warder and Princeton, a few blocks SE from the Petworth/GA Ave Metro)
11am – 5pm, Saturday, August 18th

Join the Park View community for a Back-to-School Health Fair at the Park View Rec Center. Play carnival games, enjoy a cookout with neighbors, and get ready to go back to school with free school supplies, a school uniform swap, free flu shots, a healthy snack cooking class, and lots of other fun activities to help get ready for a safe and healthy school year!

Free School Supplies. Home Depot has donated over 100 backpacks full of school supplies to Park View families. Coupons for these free backpacks will be available for families at the Back to School Health Fair. First come, first served!

School Uniform Swap! Bring your cleaned and pressed gently used school uniforms to give, and browse the collection for a uniform to take home for your little student(s). Uniforms from any school in DC are welcome!
Health Screenings and Flu Shots will be provided to kids and adults free of charge by CVS.

Safety demonstrations by the DC Fire department (including the firehouse dog!) and DC Police.
11:30am – 12pm: Healthy snack class for kids and adults, with recipes to take home!

12:30pm – 3pm: Community Cookout!

12:30pm: Capoeira Performance Troup. Watch local Capoeria students demonstrate this dynamic Brazilian martial art combining music, dance, and martial arts techniques!

Event sponsored by the Ward 1 Drug Free Community Coalition, New Commandment Baptist Church, Latin American Youth Center’s Prevention Center, and Friends of Park View Recreation Center.

Special Thanks to Councilmember Jim Graham and New Commandment Baptist Church for generous contributions towards the purchase of food. Thanks also to local businesses K & Son Auto Repairs, International Hair Salon, Bill’s Fish in The Neighborhood, Yes Market, CVS Pharmacy, and Safeway.

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Pre-Construction Community Meeting This Saturday, June 9th

June 7, 2012

Construction on the Phase 1 Modernization project for the Bruce-Monroe @ Park View School will begin in earnest on June 16th, after the last day of classes on June 15th. The construction contractor has already begun on selected preparatory activities, for example, dismantling and removal of the old boilers.

Construction activities are expected to be in full swing throughout the summer to ready the school for the start of the school year this fall. As construction in urban environments by their very nature can be disruptive, the Department of General Services has agreed that a meeting to provide ‘Construction Phase Information’ to the community is very timely.

The meeting has been set for this Saturday, June 9th, at 10:00 a.m. The meeting will be held in the school’s auditorium. See flyer below:

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Shop at Giant and Help Bruce-Monroe @ Park View School

March 14, 2012

Here’s an opportunity for Parents, Families and Friends of the Bruce Monroe @ Park View to make a difference just by shopping at Giant. The following is the text from a letter from the school:

Now through March 29, 2012 Bruce Monroe @ Park View will have the opportunity to earn cash through Giant A+ School Rewards Program. We only have a few weeks left this month and we will be asking you to register again next September.

All you have to do is:

Log on to http://www.giantfood.com/aplus to register online

OR

Dial 1-877-275-2758 to register your card over the phone

After you register your card, each shopping trip at Giant using your GIANT CARD earns CASH for our school!  Each month, the amount of CASH awarded will be updated on the Giant website. You can track the amount of points you earn for our school by checking your grocery receipt and online when you create an account at www.giantfood.com. Our school will receive a check at the end of the program. The money can be used for any of our school’s educational needs.

Remember, even if you registered your card last year, you must re-register this year for our school to receive credit. Attending to this simple process makes a HUGE difference to our school. We need your support.

Please be sure to register your card to benefit Bruce Monroe @ Park View using ID #00002.

 Thank you!   BRUCE MONROE AT PARK VIEW

Also, don’t forget to encourage your friends

and relatives to do the same!

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