Since January, 2003

February 3, 2005

February 22, 2014
3rd at L, Looking West-Northwest (see more)

A group of neighborhood residents organizing as "Parents on the Capitol Riverfront" have come together over the past few months to lobby the DC public school system and city officials to consider reopening Van Ness Elementary School, which was caught up in the DCPS downsizing at the end of the 2006 school year, after most of its student body moved away with the closing of Capper/Carrollsburg. Elementary school-aged children who live in Near Southeast are now in the boundaries for Amidon-Bowen Elementary School across South Capitol Street in Southwest, which is a bit of a hike from locations like Capitol Quarter.
In a recent e-mail to me, representatives of the group explained their motivation: "A quality school is not only good for the kids, it's a necessary amenity for retaining existing and attracting new residents to our neighborhood. We love our neighborhood and are dedicated to living in DC, but that dedication rests upon the opportunities available for our kids. The amazing Canal Park planned for the neighborhood is great and will be well-used by kids and adults alike, but it takes a school to keep the community of families here."
Over the past few months, the group has met twice in small targeted meetings with Michelle Rhee, as well as with Tommy Wells, and are working to get another meeting scheduled with Rhee that could include all neighborhood parents. There is also apparently a survey from DCPS being distributed by e-mail regarding Van Ness and the number of children in the area, and the parents' group is wanting to be sure that the survey gets to everyone with kids.
DCPS has told them that, in order for a viable elementary to be opened (grades Pre-K3 though 5), it needs to have 250 students. The group says that they've been told that "it might be possible to phase in the school, starting with Pre-K3, Pre-K4 and Kindergarten for the first couple of years and then slowly expanding up through 5th grade," so they are trying to determine exactly how many school-aged children are in the neighborhood, along with possible projections of how many more might arrive over the next five years. They are also looking at whether a large number of parents currently on the waitlist for Brent Elementary might be willing to send their children to Van Ness out-of-boundary, to help increase the number of potential students.
The parents' group now has a Google Group set up, where any interested neighborhood parents can request membership.
The school's location at 5th and M, SE, is one that has been being eyed for a while by various interested parties, and there have been talks in the past about perhaps selling the land with a requirement that the purchaser build a new school close by. Another discussed option has been co-locating a new school building with the long-delayed Capper Community Center. And the Marines have also been looking at the school's land, either as part of their space needs for the new barracks or as a place where other landowners (like the Housing Authority) could relocate planned uses if the Marines were to take their land for the barracks.
The original Van Ness Elementary School, on M Street between 3rd and 4th, opened in 1909, and was for much of its life a segregated school for black children. (You can see it at far right in this photo from 1939.) It was replaced during Integration by the current building at 5th and M in September of 1956, although the old school building at 4th and M (eventually known as the Lenox Annex) remained on the city's property rolls under varying uses. In the 1970s it was a special education school, then an adult education center in the 1990s, but finally the building was demolished in the late 1990s for what has since become the 300 M Street SE office building.
 

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Comments

L Fifth St says: (9/12/10 7:37 PM)
This is inspiring and welcomed news for those of us planning on moving to the area with young children or planning on having children. Where do Capitol Riverfront families currently send their school-aged children?

L Fifth St says: (9/12/10 7:37 PM)
This is inspiring and welcomed news for those of us planning on moving to the area with young children or planning on having children. Where do Capitol Riverfront families currently send their school-aged children?

natalie says: (9/12/10 7:38 PM)
Here is a link to the survey for anyone who is interested.

link

natalie says: (9/12/10 7:41 PM)
About that link, the survey is the sixth bullet down under 'building on momentum.'

link

Liz says: (9/12/10 7:44 PM)
There are surveys for interested parents at the Capitol Quarter sales office and Cornercopia. If you sign up for the parent group, we could also send you an electronic copy.

Liz says: (9/12/10 7:47 PM)
Just saw that the link to the survey was posted above. All parents should take a minute to fill it out! I would encourage people who are thinking about becoming parents in the next few years to fill it out as well. Just note that somewhere on the survey.

Meredith says: (9/12/10 10:18 PM)
@L 5th St, I know of local parents who send their children to DC charters in various parts of the city, Brent Elementary (our closest elementary school although technically we're out-of-bounds so must enter a lottery), and one who goes to Amidon-Bowen in SW. Some families I've talked with have looked into or are planning on sending their kids to either St. Peters or Capitol Day School--both close, both private. MANY families have babies or toddlers who are not yet school age, so are working through those decisions now and hoping for a good public option.

We welcome all current and future Riverfront parents to weigh in and get involved!

Jennifer says: (9/13/10 10:06 AM)
Below is the link to the survey -- a good quality school in the area would increase the value of our community. We need to get every parent or potential parent counted because they won't open unless they think they can get 250 children in the school:

link


James Ryan says: (9/13/10 7:22 PM)
This is not going to happen. And, I have yet to see any hard data to show this is going to improve our home values. There is no way they will get 250 students. In addition, most kids in this neighborhood will be going to a private school (or, they should considering the education at dc public schools).

I appreciate what the administration is doing to improve the schools but they are still awful. How much is the private school on the hill? Like $8 grand a year...nothing compared to the difference in education a student would receive.

The political folks attending meetings are trying to get votes in the election. They know it is not going to happen. If Fenty loses, this proposal falls off the map. If Fenty wins, the proposal gets put on the back burner.

For those opposed to the recreation center, the public school will bring about similar issues.

I will guarantee this school is not going to reopen. If anything, they are going to be closing more schools.

SE says: (9/14/10 9:16 AM)
@James Ryan, Your information about the quality of DCPS schools and their enrollment is terribly outdated. The closest DCPS school is Brent Elementary which had a waitlist for every grade. Parents across Capitol Hill have been working hard with their local elementaries to improve their neighborhood schools and it has had an impact on their property values. I sincerely hope that Van Ness follows the same trend.

Your impression of tuition at privates is also low. Capitol Hill Day School is about $24,000 per year. St. Peters is more affordable at $10,000 per year, but I'm not convinced that the education is superior to that at the public elementaries.

MJM says: (9/14/10 10:56 AM)
Everyone should post posts w/o 'factual' facts - those are the best kind :)

Getting this school re-opened is nothing but a win-win for the area. For those with kids and for those living here that will/want to have kids one day - to have a school so close by will be a positive.

JD - correct me if I'm wrong which I might be because I haven't researched too much of the 'recent' schools in SE (only the first ones around here) but thought I found some materiral that Van Ness was built to create a self contained community around the Capper community.

Liz says: (9/14/10 11:26 AM)
James, when is the last time you have been in a DCPS elementary school? I am a DCPS elementary school teacher, so I can tell you, firsthand, that there are some GREAT DC public schools. A private school does not necessarily mean a better school. It seems a little ridiculous for people to spend $25,000 a year on an elementary school when they can send their kids to a great free school. I will definitely be saving my money for my son's college tuition, instead of wasting it on a private elementary school. I encourage you to come to the next Rhee meeting. Hopefully she can change your pessimistic attitude.

Mark says: (9/14/10 12:57 PM)
James - thanks for adding nothing but negativity to this discussion. You obviously don't have school age children (or children?) - that said, if you live in the area you should care regardless, because historically proximity to a good school increases your property values.

James Ryan says: (9/14/10 6:38 PM)
Two kids - private school.

I respect all of your opinions. My apologies for stirring such a whirlwind here. I will not get into the public vs. private debate (I am a public school kid).

I will make this prediction though - no way is this school getting reopened. The only real reason Rhee attended these meetings was to sell everyone in voting for Fenty (which I just did by the way). Congrats, you got played by a great politician - politics 101 folks.

JD says: (9/15/10 9:26 AM)
So, I'm wondering--do the parents trying to get Van Ness reopened feel like the mayoral election results will have any impact on a potential reopening?


James Ryan says: (9/15/10 1:40 PM)
JD, Yes, there is no question. First, even if Fenty got reelected, there was a slim chance of the school reopening. Now, with Rhee departing, this school has no chance of reopening. It is not even part of Gray's platform.

I am not being the grim reaper here folks, I am just guaranteeing this will not happen. But, if the school does reopen, I will be the first to admit that I was wrong. And, I will let everyone here come up with a reasonable punishment for my ignorance and lack of foresight - drinks at Justin's, ice cream at Baskin-Robbins, coffee at Starbucks, whatever.

I admit it was unfair of me to criticize the DC public schools and compare them to expensive private institutions. My argument was not necessarily for or against DC public schools; instead, it was the realization that the school will not reopen. I voted there yesterday and the school is in poor condition (the little I saw of it). There would be massive start-up costs associated with this project.

On a side note, I love living in Near SE. Hopefully, the new administration will continue the private-public partnership to continue progress. I visited Yards Park last night and it looks great.

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Recent Crime Incidents Archive  
100 B/O L ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO /  04/05/14
1500 B/O SOUTH CAPITOL ST   THEFT /  04/04/14
330 B/O K ST SE   THEFT /  04/04/14
16 B/O M ST SE   THEFT /  04/04/14
700 B/O L ST SE   THEFT /  04/03/14

Active Public Space Permits Archive  
1011 1ST ST SE    COLIN CLARK 
Pending
excavation; new  
 03/03/14
to
05/01/14
    COLIN CLARK 
Approved (Pending Payment)
paving; landscaping; new  
 04/23/14
to
06/27/14
1331 2ND ST SE    Carlton Ray 
Assigned
paving; streetfixture; excavation  
 02/10/14
to
02/09/15
1201 M ST SE    Michael Manoski 
Pending Document
excavation  
 05/06/13
to
05/05/14
1333 M ST SE    WASHINGTON GAS 
Assigned
excavation  
 05/01/13
to
04/30/14
1111 NEW JERSEY AVE SE    NJA Associates LLC 
Assigned
paving; streetfixture; landscaping; excavation; new  
 06/03/13
to
06/02/14
301 TINGEY ST SE    Chuchart Kampirapang 
Assigned
 
 06/07/13
to
06/06/14
    Potbelly Sandwich Works LLC 
Issued
new  
 03/21/12
to
11/27/14

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1011 1ST ST SE   
04/09/14 
MILLER?LONG
AH1400386 / CONSTRUCTION
AFTERHOURS TO TAKE DOWN TOWER CRANE WITH 200 TON CRANE SAT ? SUN 4 / 12 / 2014 AND 4 / 13 / 2014 FROM 5AM TO 9PM
   
04/21/14 
TOLL DC LP / DELAWARE ELEVATOR INC
EN1401543 / SHOP DRAWING
TYPE OF ELEVATOR : ONE (1) MRL / STEEL / FRONT OF BLGD / PASSENGER. (VELOCITY RIVER PARK / PLASE 2 / CAR A)
1381 1ST ST SE   
04/07/14 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA /
SB1400233 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALLATION OF 3 GEO SOIL BORINGS TO A DEPTH OF 30FT 4' DIAMETER USING GEOPROBE 3 OUT OF 3 ARE TMMW
1212 4TH ST SE   
04/09/14 
GSA GSA / BRIAN FREW; GSA GSA; JOSEPH RICHARDS
E37554102 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1000 5TH ST SE   
04/04/14 
DC HOUSING AUTHORITY / KIM MITCHELL CDKM CONSULTING LLC
B1404942 / CONSTRUCTION
TEMPORARY CONSTRUCTION TRAILER TEMPORARY CONSTRUCTION FENCE AROUND THE PERIMETER OF THE PROPERTY AND TWO PORTA POTTIES AND TO INCREASE TO A TOTAL OF 4 PORTA POTTIES AT THE PEAK OF CONSTRUCTION. TRAILERS WILL BE ON BLOCKED ON TEMPORARY CMU BLOCKS - POWERED FROM TEMPORARY SERVICE BY PEPCO TRAILERS WILL BE EQUIPPED WITH RESTROOM SYSTEM THAT WILL BE SERVICED - NO PLUMBING LINES AS THEY ARE SELF CONTAINED
   
04/11/14 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY / KIM MITCHELL CDKM CONSULTING LLC
SH1400015 / CONSTRUCTION
SHEETING ? SHORING FOR NEW COMMUNITY CENTER
1220 12TH ST SE   
04/15/14 
WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT CO / STEPHEN R. HOLMAN
P1404623 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1015 HALF ST SE   
04/09/14 
HALF ST SE LLC / SAM HOLLEN RAMCO OF DC INC.
B1405731 / CONSTRUCTION
INTERIOR RENOVATION FOR 1ST FLOOR SERVICE CORRIDOR. PARTITIONS DOORS MECHANICAL ELECTRICAL AND LIFE SAFETY.
75 I ST SE   
04/07/14 
DRI DEVELOPMENT SERVICES LLC / JOSE S ALVARADO; DRI DEVELOPMENT LLC; JOSE S ALVARADO
E16994763 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
04/07/14 
DRI DEVELOPMENT SERVICES LLC / JOSE S ALVARADO; DRI DEVELOPMENT LLC; JOSE S ALVARADO
E10943636 / SUPPLEMENTAL
409 I ST SE   
04/07/14 
SCOTT A FAULK TRUSTEE / RALPH THREATT
E1404619 / SUPPLEMENTAL
309 K ST SE   
04/06/14 
GERRITT LANG
PC61450444 / POST CARD
REPLACEMENT OF NOT MORE THAN 1 GAS APPLIANCE ON A RESIDENTIAL COMMERCIAL OR INDUSTRIAL PROJECT.
306 L ST SE   
04/17/14 
MICHAEL THOMPSON
B1311538 / CONSTRUCTION
1.CRAWL SPACE FOUNDATION REPAIR CRAWL SPACE UNDERPINNING AND EXCAVATION 2. ADD CONCRETE SLAB AND EGRESS WINDOW. 3. UPGRADE EXISTING ELECTRICAL PLUMBING AND MOVE MECHANICAL CLOSET
601 L ST SE   
04/21/14 
DC HOUSING AUTHORITY / ANGEL REYNOLDS
SH1400035 / CONSTRUCTION
TEMPORARY SHEETING AND SHORING REQUIRED TO ALLOW CONSTRUCTION PF NEW BUILDING AT 601 L ST SE.
50 M ST SE   
04/17/14 
KEN FINKELSTEIN ENGLEWOOD LLC / DAVID BOOKBINDE ECS MID-ATLANTIC LLC
SB1400244 / CONSTRUCTION
A TOTAL OF 6 BORINGS WILL BE ADVANCED ACROSS THE PROPERTY WITH A GEOPROBE DRILL RIG TO A DEPTH OF 25 FEET BELOW SURFACE GRADE. THE DIAMETER OF THE BOREHOLE WILL BE 2.25 INCHES. SOIL WILL BE SCREENED THROUGHOUT THE DEPTH OF EACH BORING AND EACH 5-FOOT COMPOSITE SAMPLE WILL BE ANALYZED. GROUNDWATER WILL BE COLLECTED FROM TEMPORARY WELLS IN THREE BORINGS IF ENCOUNTERED. ALL BORINGS WILL BE GROUTED WITH APPROVED BENTONITE SLURRY UPON COMPLETION. SEE WORKPLAN FOR ADDITIONAL DETAILS.
901 M ST SE   
04/14/14 
CARLTON RAY / DANIEL SCHAALE
AH1400397 / CONSTRUCTION
EXCAVATION IN ROADWAY
1201 M ST SE   
04/14/14 
CARLTON RAY / DANIEL SCHAALE
AH1400396 / CONSTRUCTION
EXCAVATION IN ROADWAY
   
04/14/14 
SAMUEL PAXTON
PC81065987 / POST CARD
REPLACEMENT OF NOT MORE THAN 1 PLUMBING FIXTURE ON A RESIDENTIAL COMMERCIAL OR INDUSTRIAL PROJECT.
86 N ST SE   
04/17/14 
BELFAST VALLEY CONTRACTORS / KIM MITCHELL CDKM CONSULTING LLC
TC1400011 / CONSTRUCTION
ERECT TEMPORARY TOWER CRANE AT 1ST AND N ST SE
1000 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
04/14/14 
PHILIP BROWN
PC47087282 / POST CARD
REPLACEMENT OF NOT MORE THAN 1 GAS APPLIANCE ON A RESIDENTIAL COMMERCIAL OR INDUSTRIAL PROJECT.
1500 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
04/07/14 
WASHINGTON NATIONALS STADIUM LLC / FRED GRIFFITH; WASHINGTON NATIONALS STADIUM LLC; JAY LIVESAY
E53144683 / SUPPLEMENTAL
301 TINGEY ST SE   
04/11/14 
NA NA NA
EHOP1490466 / HOME OCCUPATION
   
04/11/14 
NA NA NA
EHOP1490467 / HOME OCCUPATION
301 WATER ST SE   
04/04/14 
FC LUMBER SHED LLC / RICHARD V CAREY
P1404549 / SUPPLEMENTAL
AH = After Hours; B = Alteration & Repair; D = Demolition; E = Electrical; FB = Boiler; M = Mechanical; P = Plumbing and Gas; PC = Post Card; R = Raze; SG = Sign; TL = Tenant Layout; TN = Tent; RW = Retaining Wall;

Real Property Sales Archive  
No commercial transaction records added or modified in the past two weeks.


Projects Underway
Twelve12/Yards
Park Chelsea
Southeast Blvd.
River Parc
  
Nationals Park
Visiting Nats Park
What's New Around the 'Hood
Food Options Map
Parking/Transportation
Ballpark Construction Photos
Stadium Event Photos
In the Pipeline
Hampton Inn
1111 New Jersey
800 NJ/Whole Foods
Lofts at Capitol Quarter
Ballpark Square
New Douglass Bridge
Yards at DC Water
Virginia Ave. Tunnel
99 M St.
Monument/Half Street
Community Center
Capper Apartments
250 M Street
Florida Rock
909 Half Street
Congressional Square
1000 South Capitol
SC1100
New Marine Barracks
Factory 202/Yards
Nat'l Comm. Church
Completed
Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Canal Park ('12)
Capitol Quarter ('12)
225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
Foundry Lofts/Yards ('12)
1015 Half Street ('10)
Yards Park ('10)
Velocity Condos ('09)
Teague Park ('09)
909 NJ Ave. ('09)
55 M ('09)
100 M ('08)
Onyx ('08)
Nationals Park ('08)
70/100 I ('08)
Seniors Bldg Dem. ('07)
400 M ('07)
SoCap Bridge Fix ('07)
US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
Capper Seniors 1 ('06)
Capitol Hill Tower ('06)
Courtyard/Marriott ('06)
Overviews
Capper/Carrollsburg
Ballpark District
New Jersey Ave.
M Street
South Capitol St.
WASA
The Yards
Lower 8th Street
East M Street
Boathouse Row


Links of Interest

JDLand.com Wins 2008 Knight-Batten Citizen Media Award
As part of the Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism, JDLand was given the 2008 Citizen Media Award. Read all about it.

Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District
Covering Near Southeast & Buzzard Point.

Studies/Initiatives/Government Documents:
11th Street Bridges EIS
South Capitol St. Bridge EIS
South Capitol Gateway Corridor/Anacostia Access Study
Anacostia Riverwalk Trail
NCPC's New Vision for South Capitol Street (2005 Update)
Anacostia Waterfront Initiative (2005)
Near Southeast Draft Urban Design Framework (2003)
Urban Land Institute South Capitol Street Corridor Report (2003)
Neighborhood Strategic Action Plan (2002)
DC Streetcars (may run down M Street SE someday)

Capitol Gateway and Southeast Federal Center Zoning Overlays
Two documents that spell out in extreme detail exactly what the requirements are for developments along South Capitol, M, in the Ballpark District, and at "The Yards". Read also my short explanatory treatise on these two overlays.

Pre-Redevelopment Media Overviews:
A Transformed Neighborhood Awaits Stadium (WP, 8/15/05)
      includes huge map of development plans
The Morphing of a Forgotten Neighborhood (WP, 9/2/2004)
      A brilliant take on the neighborhood!
Betting Big on Near Southeast (WP, 7/15/04)
Hope for the Waterfront (WBJ, 01)
Seeking a Better View On the Waterfront (WP, 3/8/98)
 

DC Government
Mayor's Office
Planning/Economic Development
   Office of Planning
DC Consumer & Regulatory Agency
DC Office of Zoning
DC Municipal Regulations | Zoning
DC Dept. of Transportation

DC City Council
Tommy Wells

ANCs: 6D | 6B
David Garber (6D07)
Kirsten Oldenburg (6B04)
Police: MPD-1D | PSA 105

Other Organizations
National Capital Planning Commission
Earth Conservation Corps
Capitol Hill Restoration Society
Barracks Row Main Street
Marines Community Integrated Master Plan
 

 

News Publications
The Hill Rag
The Southwester

Other DC Neighborhood/City Blogs
SW DC - The Little Quadrant That Could
The Hill is Home
Congress Heights on the Rise
Greater Greater Washington
WashCycle
Penn Quarter Living
Frozen Tropics
The Triangle
14th and You
The 42
Beyond DC
Richard Layman
 




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