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DCPS seeks resident help on facilities

(Published May 8, 2000)

D.C. Public Schools officials will begin holding a series of community meetings in June, continuing through September, to get the public’s views on the future of neighborhood school buildings.

The meetings are part of the first master facilities planning process that the school system has undertaken in about 30 years. School officials expect to complete a master facilities plan by the end of 2000.

Included in the planning process is a wide range of options for the city’s public school buildings— from renovation to demolition to partial demolition to adding new wings or constructing entirely new, modern school buildings. The average age of DCPS schools is 65 years old, according to officials.

The planning process also is expected to help school officials determine which schools may need to be closed if the declining trend in student enrollment continues, as expected in a recent report that was done for DCPS.

Eight School Planning Areas Committees have been set up to conduct the community meetings. Each committee includes 30-40 representatives of teachers, principals, parents and students from the planning area’s cluster of schools.

The eight planning areas were formed based on natural geographic boundaries, Census tracts and existing D.C. neighborhood planning areas. Each contains 8-12 elementary schools, 2-4 middle or junior high schools and 1 or 2 high schools.

Copyright 2000, The Common Denominator