Housing Complex

Cardozo High Could Lose its Hillsides, Add Gyms

Cardozo High School in Columbia Heights is due for a renovation, and designers aren't thinking in half-measures: Initial architectural plans propose building two new gyms (a "natatorium" and a basketball court) on what are now grassy terraces flanking the historic building.

Eric Fidler reports that the large new gyms are necessary because the school was built with two separate, smaller facilities for girls and boys. The basketball gym would be nestled into the west hillside so as to avoid obstructing views from Clifton Street, with a parking lot on top. The swimming pool is harder to get a sense of, massing-wise, but would expand the school's footprint nearly to 11th Street.

It's hard to believe that the budget will be found for both of them, but it's possible. To learn more, go to the ANC 1B meeting on Thursday at the Reeves Center.

View looking east from over 13th Street.

Comments

  1. #1

    Quotes are not needed for natatorium.

  2. #2

    Awww man. As much as I enjoy watching 4th of July fireworks from Cardozo High, building facilities for a high school is definitely important. I wonder if those facilities will be available for public use outside of school hours?

  3. #3

    Central

  4. #4

    How one arth do they plan to fund this? I'm supportive of any efforts to bring first-class facilities to District schools, but this project seems more than a bit ambitious considering the current economic environment.

    And, yeah, why the quotes around natatorium? It's a real "word".

  5. #5

    I wish they'd think about building tennis courts. The courts by Banneker are always packed.

  6. #6

    What, if anything, will this do to curtail the roving gangs of dangerous, gun toting, "youths" loitering about that neighborhood day and night? This is one of the most dangerous parts of the most dangerous neighborhood in the city, Columbia Heights. It is one big festering, toxic, open air, drug and violence carnival midway.

  7. #7

    I understand that they need a regulation size gym and putting it on the proposed site makes sense because that area I think has two parking lots. I am pretty shocked that they want to build a natatorium. Does Cardozo really need an Olympic size pool? The city has many pools already. With the extreme budget crunch this makes no sense. Other schools are suffering cuts to the modernization plans.

    Also, the hillside they are proposing to place it has beautiful gardens. I want to know what is the rationale??

  8. #8

    That's not an Olympic-sized pool.

  9. #9

    Pouring all that money into a school in Columbia Heights? You have to be kidding, right? Kids in Columbia Heights don't go to school, they deal drugs, and walk and drive around shooting at themselves and others.

    More pure insanity! Why not just hand Jim Graham the money directly?

  10. #10

    Boo, giant parking lot on the roof of the basketball court!? Couldn't they put the parking underneath it (if it's really all that necessary) and put recreational or athletic space on the roof? Great spot for a tennis court/basketball court, great views, not a good place to leave cars parked in the sun all day unoccupied and making the view less valuable to neighbors.

  11. #11

    My understanding is that it will be an Olympic sized pool! They already have an unused pool within the building but the planners are saying it is not big enough.

  12. #12

    @DC Voter - are you serious about Columbia Heights being one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the city? Clearly, you have not been across the river or out East Capitol Street.

    @DC and DC Voter - Providing places for kids to have activities is one way to reduce the drug trade and raise successful kids. So, your [very inappropriate and narrow-minded] comments just make a better case for the additions.

  13. #13

    @DW - I have indeed and still contend Columbia Heights is more dangerous because of the perception that there are rich pickin's. Drive around (at your own risk) CH at night off the main drag of 14th St. There are gangs of youths roving the streets just looking for trouble.

  14. #14

    Olympic pools are 50 meters long. The blueprints linked to in this post clearly show a 25 yard pool.

    Nothing wrong with a 25 yard pool, by the way.

  15. Give'em what they want
    #15

    The new Woodson has a natatroium, The new Dunbar will have something as comparable, The new Wilson will not have anything less therefore give Cardozo what they need. Here is it that a school has had a non-functioning gym, swimming pool and other facilities for decades and now we are crying the budget. Hogwash!!! Just a suggestion, instead of sitting on the hills watching the fireworks, maybe you can sit on the new parking lot.

    It would be very nice to see Cardozo revitalize their once award-winning swim team.

  16. #16

    The downside about Cardozo for many years, was that it did not have enough parking spaces to support activities for the school. Cardozo has one of the largest football stadiums but parking becomes a premium for those who drive to the events. I remember the days of when Cardozo was full to capacity and you had teachers who parked as far away as Florida Avenue. The days of neighbors calling and having cars towed aways is enough to have any facility planner put parking on the menu.

    Does every group of students that have assembled are being viewed as gang members?

  17. #17

    I remember the days of when Cardozo was full to capacity and you had teachers who parked as far away as Florida Avenue.

    Um - Florida Avenue is right next to the football field. An errant pass out of bounds will end up in traffic.

  18. #18

    A natatorium is not a gym. It's a building housing a swimming pool.

  19. #19

    The school community is NOT asking for this, in fact I hear many spoke up to keep the green space and refurb the training pool. This desire for a full size pool is coming from somewhere else....Jim Graham perhaps??

  20. #20

    What will happen to the unused pool etc? I am not saying the additions shouldn't happen. I just want to know.

    My only hope is that we don't make the renovations so modern that we lose some of the character in those old buildings. [yes they look like crap now but imagine what could happen if some areas were restored]. For example, though a poor one, when I went to the new petworth library, i saw that they have done a lot of work and it was modern, but it wasn't so modern that it destroyed the building's character.

  21. #21

    1. I live about a block away from the school. There are no "roving bands of gun toting youths". 2. I agree that the parking needs to be underneath and not on top of the gym. Yes there is not a lot of parking at the school - but there are 2 metros 1/2 mile away and countless bus lines - who needs parking? 3. If parking was necessary - why not work out a deal with DCUSA underutilized parking and have a shuttle that goes back and forth? District residents are already paying for half an empty parking lot - why not get some use out of it. 4. Pool is not really that necessary in my opinion as a new pool will be built at the new YMCA 3 blocks away - would rather see tennis courts.

  22. #22

    @DC Voter-"...that neighborhood day and night..." FROM YOUR ASININE COMMENT I TAKE IT YOU DONT LIVE IN COLUMBIA HEIGHTS. SO THE INFO YOU GET ABOUT THIS SECTION OF THE CITY COMES FROM OVERHYPED NEWS STORIES TO DRAW YOUR CONCLUSION FROM TO POST YOUR INTERNET EMBOLDENED COMMENT. YOU ARE WHAT MY WHITE FRIENDS WOULD CALL A FUCKING LOSER BUT YOU KNEW THAT ALREADY.

    YOU MIGHT WANT TO GIVE SOME THOUGHT TO THE NEW FACILITY PLUCKING OFF A FEW OF THOSE CURRENT AND FUTURE "roving gangs of dangerous, gun toting, "youths" SO THEY WONT PLUCK YOU AND YOURS OFF. CLOWN!

    @ DC- CARDOZO SHOULD HAVE BEEN ADDRESSED WHEN FAGGIE ASS FENTY TOOK OVER DC GOVT WITH SURPLUS AND RHEE-DICULOUS WITH ALL HER BULLSHIT TOTALLY NEGLECTED THIS BEACON ON THE HILLSIDE. MAYBE INSTEAD OF HANDING MONEY OVER TO SHIT-A-HOLICS AND COCKSUCKING FRAT BROS HE SHOULD HAVE ADDRESSED CARDOZO’S GYM PROBLEM.

  23. #23

    Why not create roof space on the 14th street side where the community can have an open area to enjoy the views?

    That would be a serious amenities. Can you image how cool July 4th would be?

  24. #24

    Since late 2010 on the 3rd Tues of every month at approx 6pm (excluding this month due to Spring Break) an open forum takes place at Cardozo's library with DCPS officials, the chosen architects, Cardozo teachers, staff, parents, students and community members. Said discussions and plans are revealed and discussed openly. All appropriate, logical comments are welcomed.

    With that said, the planning team has overwhelmingly questioned and outright opposed the building of an enormous natatorim on the east side. (Not sure where city paper is getting its momentum for this story??)We've welcomed the proposed west side construction of a gym as it would preserve east side green space and not obstruct Clifton St site lines.

    Most minutes from those meetings can be found on the school's website http://www.cardozoshs.com

  25. #25

    Gyms are important to keep us moving. We are no long nomands. Gyms like those at http://www.biscayneboxing.com are innovative with both pulsating and relaxing exercises; and in the long run we will be all more
    h(w)ealtier.

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