Law Puts Neighbors’ Hopes for Grimke On Hold

by Lark Turner

Law Puts Neighbors' Hopes for Grimke On Hold: Figure 1
Grimke School

A group of U Street residents angling to have the former Grimke School reimagined for daytime use got bad news last week: Federal law may require the city to offer the property up to charter schools before entertaining other redevelopment offers.

Jeffrey Willis, who’s coordinating the neighbors’ effort, wrote in an email on Friday that DC’s Office of the Attorney General directed the city to send out a request for offers exclusively to charters before opening the process up to anyone else. According to Willis, the neighborhood group had previously been told that this requirement was already satisfied. He added that Councilman Jim Graham, who attended previous group meetings to voice his support for the neighbors, has asked for a legal review of the Attorney General’s decision.

The neighbors explicitly oppose redeveloping the old school into a new one. “School budget and management constraints would be insufficient to provide a high quality renovation and subsequent maintenance of this site,” the neighbors’ statement of goals reads. “The immediate two block radius is already saturated with schools.”

What the residents want is a home for the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum and some daytime office space, perhaps largely occupied by longtime Grimke hopefuls Torti Gallas and Partners.

In light of the development news, the group has decided to hold off on attending an ANC meeting where they’d hoped to get local approval of their goals statement.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/law_puts_neighbors_hopes_for_grimke_on_hold/8105


  1. tui said at 10:35 pm on Monday February 10, 2014:
    One hopes that the city respects the process and is serious about offering the building to charter schools and entertaining offers. This is a great location for a quality charter school, for which there is still a large demand among families. This was funded by the city to be a school, and should be returned to that use if there are viable project proposals.
  1. adam said at 7:38 pm on Tuesday February 11, 2014:
    "already saturated with schools." Is this for real? They are trying to say that having lots of schools is a bad thing?
  1. soulshadow55 said at 10:12 pm on Tuesday February 11, 2014:
    The City needs more moderate-income housing. Why doesn't the City renovate these buildings to house small families, teachers, policemen or firefighters. So many moderate-income people have been priced out of D.C. Where will moderate-income families find housing in the City.

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