Empty Schools

There are many empty school buildings in Washington, DC as there are in urban areas across the nation. Most have not received the proper maintenance and updating over the last seventy-five to hundred years so they need lots of work.

Last year, the DC School system put several buildings on the block for development. In the Shaw area in Ward 5, we had three schools available for re-development. The neighborhood association met and submitted its list of top uses for these buildings. Then we heard nothing.

Meanwhile, the Post editorial board is noting that the school buildings are up again. They are advocating for their use as charter schools.  Interestingly, there were only a few people in the association interested in using these abandoned buildings for that use. Most of us wanted a recreation center, stores or restaurants, even housing of various income levels. Since the economic downtown, it is very unlikely that any developer can be found to convert these buildings for any of the uses that the neighborhood wants.

The City Council members wrote off the interests that the neighborhood submitted. They are waiting for responses to the RFP request for proposals and then want the chosen developers to go out to the neighborhood associations and solicitour opinions. Ie the developer comes to us and tells us what they are going to do with the building.

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