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