City Desk

It’s Official: Wilson HS Is Moving to UDC


WaPo's Bill Turque reported earlier this month that students at Wilson Senior High School would have to relocate while the city renovated their historic Tenleytown campus, and that the University of the District of Columbia would be a likely spot for their interlude.

Well, it's now official: Wilson principal Pete Cahall informed parents today in an e-mail that the kids will be housed in UDC's Building 52 next school year while the renovations at Wilson proceed. A groundbreaking, in fact, is scheduled for tomorrow.

The building, on the southwest corner of Connecticut Avenue and Yuma Street NW, is currently undergoing renovation to serve as UDC's business school, says university spokesperson Alan Etter. It's also planned to serve as the university's student center.

One political sidenote that LL will point out: That DCPS and UDC were able to come to an understanding, with UDC willing to delay the opening of its business school, might very well mark a thaw in relations between the Fenty administration and UDC—an institution Fenty has clashed with and made repeated attempts to assert more control over.

The university has been working closely with Allen Lew's school facilities shop on the deal, Etter says. DCPS is taking advantage of already-planned UDC-funded renovations at the building, but if any Wilson-specific changes need to be made, DCPS will foot the bill. "There's been a great working relationship," Etter says.

Despite the fact that work is proceeding post-haste—some Wilson classrooms will be closed next semester as the project begins, forcing students into temporary spaces—Turque noted that controversy persists over the plans for the Wilson reno.

Here's Cahall's note:

Good evening, Wilson Parents and Students...this is Principal Cahall calling with my weekly update.

I am pleased to announce that we will relocate our school to the University of the District of Columbia's campus for the 2010-2011 school year. We will be housed in Building 52, a five story building on Connecticut Avenue. The building is currently gutted and work will begin immediately preparing the space for our arrival in August 2010.

Our ground breaking ceremony will be on Tuesday, December 15, 2009 and work will begin at Wilson after the winter break. When school resumes on January 4, we no longer have access to the auditorium wing of the building including the rose garden. Classrooms are being constructed in the armory and displaced classrooms from the auditorium will be located there.

We will need your continued support and assistance as we work through this process. We need to keep the end in mind which will be a full modernized and state of the art school when we return in 2011.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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  • X marks the spot

    Oh! my the Tigers will be on the Firebirds campus. Is it quite quaint that temporary space is alloted for Wilson, considering not one child would even fathom attending UDC to continue their education. There's hope yet for Ballou after all when it's time for your renovations, just maybe your temporary site will be located at the Fire Academy.

  • Tom

    As an alumnus I am very interested in this move... How long are the renovations going to take place? I have worked on a program that built an WMD disposal plant in 9 months, so are they tearing the school down? Is relocated HS students with college students a good idea?

  • X marks the spot

    As this is all experimental...considering this is the fourth school to undergo a version of relocation while their building is being renovated. If you ask the people at School Without Walls they will probably give you an ear-full, then go way over to northeast and ask the people who attend Woodson High School and they will probably give you horror stories...and finally you have the people at Eastern there's probably a love/hate as for it being a good is really to early to tell. Let's consider the fact that finally the idea to fix the high-schools are being enacted...and that is GOOD!!!

  • Scream Fire In A Crowded University

    I'm sorry, you mean the same building 52 that got shut down because of a fire that broke out when I was going there a few years ago?

    Wilson must be in REALLY bad shape. lol.

  • dcstillhere

    @ X
    how dare you short change BALLOU students by referencing the fire academy when you know damn well that it wouldn't be right if asbestos saturated Old Congress Heights elementary or DC Village shelters weren't at the top of the list of suitors!

  • dcstillhere

    Damn, y couldn't they use the RUSSIAN EMBASSY, considering the COLD WAR is no more?

  • X marks the spot

    @ dcstillhere, I thought the Fire Academy would be a vast improvement. I was even considering that Anacostia could atleast be housed on the Anacostia River in an old and unused boat from the Wharf!!! You, know there's nothing like those "river rats" Ooops I mean those Indians. I am still trying to gather that over 1400 students with staff can all fit into bldg. 52. One thing for sure UDC has not seen that many students since the 80's... The Wilson students are still off the chain...and once they begin to disrupt the surroundings of UDC...a good-riddance party will be planned promptly.

  • CT

    Once these out of control kids start affecting the businesses and home owners around UDC they will promptly be moved out. Do we have to mention how the Tenleytown Metro and Wholefoods is once the barn doors of Wilson open each school day. Also lets consider the fact that there is not a significant bus route on CT Ave. What dumb a@#% at DCPS came up with this idea?
    There goes the neighborhood......

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  • Really??

    You guys have no faith in the up and coming Wilson. That's wrong just give the kids a chance. I highly doubt they will disturb apartment buildings and offices...they don't disturb office buildings in Tenley do they? I'm pretty sure they have better things to do with their time.

  • WIlson06

    As an alumnus and current student at UDC, I just want to say that I cannot believe that all my memories of my high school years are being shredded into pieces. As far as the Wilson kids at UDC, I hate to say this but those kids give those who have graduated from Wilson a bad name! I currently work by Tenleytown and when they were here they were a pain, class of 06 was nothing compared to what they are now! I DO NOT WANT THEM AT UDC, thus I am happy that there will be a new campus located at Union Station for the CCDC.