Bids for Grimke School Won’t Be Limited to Charters

by Lark Turner

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Grimke School

A group of U Street residents are cheering a recent legal decision excepting the former Grimke School at 1925 Vermont Avenue NW (map) from being bid on by charter schools exclusively.

Residents were disappointed in early February when the attorney general’s office noted a federal law requiring that former public school buildings be offered up to charter schools before any other entity. But a group of neighbors had already formed a pretty solid idea of what they wanted for Grimke: A renovated space for museum and office use, preferably by the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum and Torti Gallas and Partners, an architecture firm that’s been eyeing the site for years.

The resident group opposed a school because they felt it wouldn’t have the funds to rehabilitate and maintain the long-vacant site, which they believe is becoming a haven for illegally parked cars and crime.

Councilman Jim Graham wrote to the neighborhood group this past Friday with some news: DC’s attorney general had backed off the requirement after Graham appealed the decision. He noted that the property had already been offered to charter schools several years ago, and apparently the attorney general agreed that the legal requirement had been met.

“I am a strong supporter of the carefully thought out plan for that RFP that has come from the community itself, and that has won broad support from ANC and other stakeholders,” Graham wrote. “Sincere thanks to the DC Attorney General. His action has averted many months of delay.”

The group advocating for a daytime use of the Grimke School will now go before the ANC 1B Design Review Committee to present their plans and goals.

See other articles related to: u street corridor, u street, torti gallas, grimke school, grimke

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/grimke_neighbors_celebrate_legal_decision/8222

3 Comments

  1. tui said at 10:13 pm on Wednesday March 12, 2014:

    Sorry to hear this. Was hoping the process would at least be respected.  Think I’ll pass on voting for Graham.

  1. sbc said at 11:56 pm on Wednesday March 12, 2014:

    so many schools are being turned into museums (Randall, Franklin) or condos (Syphax, Edmonds, Hine) or given to private schools (Stephens) that I’d like to see one stay public.

  1. Dad of an autistic child said at 3:11 pm on Thursday March 13, 2014:

    Steven’s intended user is not exactly a private school or a public school. The Ivymount School and Programs is a non-profit school and outreach center in Rockville,  and DC students with special needs now travel daily to get help. By coming into the City, DCPS will have a trusted resource providing quality educational programs and therapeutic services in the CITY   to students with special needs from 4 to 21 years of age.  Since 1961, Ivymount has helped more than 8,000 young people, from throughout the Washington metropolitan area to lead independent and fulfilling lives as productive members of their communities.  Ivymount has been chosen by respected researchers and practitioners as a training and research center and currently has over a dozen collaborative partnerships with leading organizations in the Washington DC area – including: Children’s National Medical Center, Georgetown University Hospital Pediatrics and The Smithsonian Institution.

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