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(Published July 15, 2002)
HALFWAY HOUSE PROPOSED: Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1A has scheduled a presentation at its July 23 community meeting by Community Bridge, an organization that is proposing placement of a halfway house for up to 40 men at 3608 Georgia Ave. NW. The group has applied to the D.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment for a special exception to operate the facility. The ANC meeting, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., will be held at the ANC office at 3511 14th St. NW. More information is available by calling the ANC at (202) 588-7278.
SCHOOL RENOVATION BEGINS: Community leaders gathered July 11 to break ground for the long-planned renovation and modernization of Cleveland Elementary School at 1825 Eighth St. NW. Quinn Evans Architects designed the project, which will be carried out by Coakley Williams Construction under the joint direction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and D.C. Public Schools.
As part of the project, a new addition will be built on the south side of the existing 1911 building. The addition will house a cafeteria and gymnasium, with a rooftop art room. A new media center, including a traditional library and computer learning area, also are in the renovation plans. A new playground and science garden are planned for an enclosed area outside the school. The school is scheduled to reopen in the fall of 2003 for about 360 students in Head Start through 4th grade.
HOSPITAL NEARS COMPLETION: The new $96 million George Washington University Hospital at Washington Circle in Northwest is putting on finishing touches as it prepares for its opening in August, according to hospital officials. The 400,000-square-foot, 371-bed facility is being touted as one of the nation’s "most technologically advanced hospitals." Among its features will be a new Level I Trauma Center that is double the size of the existing GW Hospital’s emergency room. The building also contains a new decontamination facility for treating persons exposed to biological or chemical hazardous materials.
GRANT APPLICATIONS SOUGHT: Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3/4G voted July 8 to accept applications in September from neighborhood groups seeking grant assistance for community projects. Written requests for grants must be submitted to the ANC by Sept. 7, with oral presentations to be made at the ANC’s Sept. 9 meeting. The ANC will vote on grant requests at its Sept. 23 meeting. More information about grant eligibility and rules is available by contacting the ANC office at (202) 363-5803.
NEW REC CENTER: Mayor Anthony A. Williams is expected to join Councilman Adrian Fenty and neighborhood leaders at 11 a.m. July 20 to break ground for a new $6.2 million Emery Recreation Center at Georgia Avenue and Madison Street NW. The new 28,000-square-foot, two-story structure will house an indoor gymnasium, several offices, meeting and multipurpose rooms and a kitchen, according to Terry Lee, spokesman for the Department of Parks and Recreation. The 14-month project is being managed by Jair Lynch Consulting/Alpha Corp., with Holden Construction building the new center. Lee said the existing 1,000-square-foot rec center will be demolished, but existing fields will be maintained, with future plans to improve them.
LICENSE CHANGE APPROVED: The District’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has approved Okie Dokie Inc.’s application to change its ABC license classification from "restaurant" to "nightclub" to more accurately reflect its business operations at its Ivy City nightclub called Dream. Despite vocal neighborhood complaints about congestion and noise emanating from the politically popular nightclub, located at 1350 Okie St. NE, ABC officials said the board received no protests against Dream’s request to change its license.
NEIGHBORHOOD NIGHT OUT: The North Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association is making plans to celebrate National Night Out on Aug. 6 with its traditional potluck supper and children’s games to encourage residents to socialize. The event will begin at 7 p.m. at the eastern end of Lincoln Park at 13th and East Capitol streets. Neighbors who want to help with planning may call (202) 543-3512.
SAVING A COMMUNITY LANDMARK: Friends of the Old Naval Hospital and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., will host an informational discussion at 6:30 p.m. July 18 highlighting the history and present condition of the Old Naval Hospital at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE and their organizations’ efforts to preserve the deteriorating structure. Reservations are recommended for the program, which is free to members of the organizations. Non-members will be charged $5 admission.
The national historic landmark, which was included on the D.C. Preservation League’s 1999 list of Washington’s Most Endangered Places, is mostly vacant but still houses the offices of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6B. The building was completed in 1866 and served as a hospital until 1907.
ANC 6B has scheduled a special meeting for 7 p.m. July 24 at its offices to discuss the building’s future use, in anticipation of two community meetings that will be held in August by the D.C. Office of Property Management to seek public comment on the building’s use. The meetings, which will both begin at 7 p.m., will be held Aug. 1 and 14 at the Old Naval Hospital. City officials expect to use information gathered during the meetings to develop requirements for the building’s restoration and upkeep by future tenants.
CELEBRATING NATURE: Nature takes center stage on July 20 with an early morning birdwalk through Fort Dupont Park and the annual Waterlily Festival at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens later in the day. Both events are free.
The D.C. Audubon Society leads the birdwalk, which begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Fort Dupont Visitor Center parking lot and will wind through the meadow and forest trails. Organizers suggest that participants bring water to drink, but binoculars and bird books are available for loan during the session.
From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the National Park Service sponsors its annual Waterlily Festival at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens at Anacostia Avenue and Douglas Street NE. The festival features pond and greenhouse tours, gardening workshops, the Blue Sky Puppet Show and judging for the annual contest in which amateur photographers enter their photos taken at the aquatic gardens. Photos must be entered in the contest by July 17. Additional information about the contest is available online at www.nps.gov/nace/keaq/waterlilyfestivalfy02.htm or by calling Ranger Deborah Kirkley at (202) 426-6905.
HQ FOR HOMELAND SECURITY: Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District’s delegate to Congress, has suggested that the federal government locate the proposed new federal Homeland Security agency on the 180-acre west campus of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE. Norton’s idea was endorsed July 11 by Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., the ranking member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which will play a major role in determining where the agency’s 176,000 employees are headquartered.
The west campus of St. Elizabeth’s has been largely unused for several years, and city leaders have been searching for an appropriate use for the property, which is owned by the federal government. Early in his administration, Mayor Anthony A. Williams suggested relocating the University of the District of Columbia to the campus, which is located near both the Anacostia and Congress Heights Metro stations. Recently, the city has been considering locating a new unified communications center for emergency services on the campus.
NEW APARTMENTS COMPLETED: Mayor Anthony A. Williams and Councilwoman Sandra C. Allen were on hand July 10 to help cut the ribbon to mark the opening of Woodmont Crossing, a new 176-unit apartment complex at Good Hope Road and Altamont Place SE. The new $17.5 million complex features two- and three-bedroom apartments, a swimming pool and a business center. Builder KSI Services Inc., based in Vienna, Va., also plans to add 35 single-family homes to the Woodmont development.
Copyright 2002, The Common Denominator