Housing Complex

Yu Ying Charter School Closing in on 220 Taylor Street NE

Old and falling down, but still usable. (Jones Lang Lasalle)

Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School, a Chinese-immersion program hotly sought after by District parents, has set its sights on a drafty old building near Catholic University for a second campus.

The school has been looking around for space since it started outgrowing its building in Brookland–they submitted a bid for the Franklin School downtown–and also landed a spot in the Walter Reed complex in Ward 4. If both deals work out, Yu Ying will join E.L. Haynes in a group of popular public charter schools that have expanded to more than one location.

The new spot, 220 Taylor Street NE, is a former Marist seminary that was used by the Joz-Arz Public Charter School until its charter was revoked several years ago. It's got four stories and 33,400 square feet, including an auxiliary building, and has been listed for $10.2 million.

Executive director Mary Shaffner said she couldn't comment on the tentative purchase "until we close."

Yu Ying's ambitions also undermine one of the arguments used against the Latin American Youth Center's plans for the J.F. Cook school–opponents asked why LAYC and partner Youthbuld hadn't considered 220 Taylor Street. There's a community meeting on that issue tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the Big Bear Cafe, in anticipation of a Council hearing on the disposition J.F. Cook on Friday at 10:00 a.m.


    $10 million is a good price for such a gorgeous building. If the PTA can raise about $500k per year then they should be set.

  • gina a.

    That building was inspiration for former Councilmember Kathy Patterson to write legislation to ensure that any charter school building, bought and renovated with funds securitized by the DC per pupil formula and DC tax exempt revenue bonds would revert back to city ownership if the charter was revoked. I don't think the bill ultimately passed. So who gets the money when this building is sold to Yu Ying? I guess the DC taxpayer will be buying this building twice. Classic.

  • DCResident who wants 100% charters

    gina a. --

    Maybe the prior charter borrowed $$ to purchase and renovate, and this purchase just helps take out that debt -- e.g. not paid for twice? Probably doesn't compare to the waste and overspending in recent and past years from DCPS' capital budget...

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