What Has Happened to All of D.C.’s Recently-Vacated Schools?
This morning, I turned to the Washington Post's Metro section—yes, I actually receive a home edition of the Post—to find an image almost identical to the one I posted yesterday of the Franklin School. It's mostly a random coincidence. But the Post's article touches on some of the same themes—namely returning the Franklin School back to an educational use, after for years it served as a homeless shelter, and now it seems destined to be transformed into a boutique hotel or some other private residential building. (Back in September, the city offered up the Franklin School to both public and private developers with a new request for proposals.)
The Post's article centers on charter schools' growing frustrations with the limited access to empty, publicly-owned spaces. After all, two schools applied to move into the Franklin School earlier this year. But those attempts were rejected. But what I most appreciated about the article was this paragraph, which summarized exactly what's happened to many of the recently-vacated school buildings in D.C.:
Of the 26 public schools whose closures have been announced since last year, seven are or will eventually be occupied by charters. One will be used by the University of the District of Columbia. Four have been filled by other branches of D.C. government, taking them over for, among other purposes, a temporary recreation center and offices for the Department of Public Works. Three will be turned over to developers and two to nonprofit groups. Five are in use as D.C. public schools. One will be torn down and the land turned into a park. The fates of three have not been decided.
Image by NCinDC, Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License