Tomorrow night, the Citizens Association of Georgetown will host a public meeting on the future of Hyde-Addison elementary school and the Duke Ellington School for the Arts. Mayor Bowser will be in attendance, and so with Councilmembers Jack Evans and David Grosso. The meeting will be at St. John’s (across from Hyde). The reception will start at 7:00, with the meeting beginning at 7:30.
It is difficult to overstate how important this meeting is for the near and long term future of Hyde-Addison. The mayor is apparently intent on the school using Meyer Elementary School as the swing space for the students for up to two years. DCPS’s own traffic studies showed that the trip from Hyde to Meyer could take up to 45 minutes, each way. Moreover, Hyde parents have toured Meyer and reported that it is in terrible shape and would require a full renovation itself before being an acceptable option. The message from the Duke Ellington kids who are currently using Meyer was that they couldn’t wait to get out of it.
On top of all of this, DCPS is significantly reducing the scope of the project. No longer will it have a gym and a cafeteria, but rather a joint space underground without sufficient natural light. Additionally, the security suite, which is currently right next to the entrance on O St. is being moved to a location that would require visitors to go through the playground before being properly vetted. All these changes are unacceptable.
For those reasons, the Citizens Association adopted the following resolution:
WHEREAS Hyde-Addison School is an exemplary elementary school that has served the Georgetown and citywide community for over 100 years, and
WHEREAS the District of Columbia Public Schools (“DCPS”) have identified Hyde-Addison as needing a critical addition to provide modern resources and facilities to its students, including a gymnasium, cafeteria, and additional classrooms, and
WHEREAS the School Improvement Team (“SIT”), working with the Department of General Services (“DGS”)and DCPS developed a design met the educational needs of the school and which obtained the necessary historical preservation review approval, and
WHEREAS DCPS and DGS have proposed significant and severe cuts to this approved design, including the elimination of separate gymnasium and cafeteria spaces, the construction of a multipurpose room entirely below ground with inadequate natural light, and the relocation of the school security suite that will require visitors to walk through the playground before being properly vetted, and
WHEREAS DCPS and DGS have failed to provide a convenient “swing space” for the students to use during construction, and
WHEREAS the proposed “swing space” is approximately four miles from the Hyde-Addison campus and will require students to travel nearly an hour each day in buses, and
WHEREAS the proposed “swing space” has incredibly substandard facilities and is in a state of unacceptable disrepair notwithstanding the fact that DCPS still uses the space for educational purposes, and
WHEREAS the use of this “swing space” is contingent on the completion of the Duke Ellington School renovation by August 2017, which is an indisputably impossible assumption given the significant construction that remains to be performed on that project.
The Board of the Citizens Association of Georgetown resolves that DCPS and DGS must restore the original approved design of the Hyde-Addison addition, including the separate gym and cafeteria, and the properly located security suite, and identify a swing space location acceptable to the SIT.
The only way any of this will have an impact on the Mayor and the councilmembers will be if lots of people show up. SO PLEASE COME!!! If you know anyone with young children in Georgetown, tell them about the meeting and encourage them to come! This could be the last chance to convince the mayor to change course.