Since January, 2003
            
 (a random before-and-after moment)
February 16, 2006
May 29, 2016 
Cushing at M, Looking North (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.
Comments (16)
   
 
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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  
1400 B/O SOUTH CAPITOL ST   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 05/26/16
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 05/24/16
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 05/21/16
800 899 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 05/16/16
1000 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 05/15/16
1400 B/O SOUTH CAPITOL ST   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 05/15/16
1400 B/O SOUTH CAPITOL ST   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 05/15/16
1200 B/O 4TH ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 05/12/16
300 B/O TINGEY ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 05/11/16
1200 B/O I ST SE   ROBBERY  05/08/16
900 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 05/08/16
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 05/06/16
1220 HALF ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 05/05/16
1100 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft First Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 05/04/16
300 K ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft First Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 05/04/16
70 B/O I ST SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
Theft First Degree (Stolen Auto)
 05/02/16
UNIT B/O I ST SE   ROBBERY  04/29/16
1100 B/O 5TH ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 04/27/16

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1233 1ST ST SE   
05/10/16 
null / KONE INC
EN1602126 / SHOP DRAWING
Type of Elevator : Two (2) Electrical / steel / center / passenger / 3 floors Elevator 5 & 6 Condition : Application for Modification of Construction Code MVQ1600083 & MVQ1600084 See : B1403486 and TL1600011
   
05/23/16 
null / KONE INC
EN1602096 / SHOP DRAWING
Type of Elevator : Two (2) Electrical / steel / center / passenger / 16 floors
   
05/23/16 
null / KONE INC
EN1602097 / SHOP DRAWING
Type of Elevator : One (1) Electrical / steel / center / passenger / 16 floors (elevator #2)
   
05/23/16 
null / KONE INC
EN1602098 / SHOP DRAWING
Type of Elevator : One (1) Electrical / steel / center / passenger / 16 floors (elevator #3)
   
05/24/16 
BALLPARK HOTEL LLC / RICHARD V CAREY
P1606451 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1277 1ST ST SE   
05/23/16 
PEPCO PEPCO
AH1600711 / CONSTRUCTION
CABLE SPLICING & MISC EQUIPMENT - MH ACCESS PEPCO BOND #017026121
1108 2ND ST SE   
05/19/16 
NA DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY / NA DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY; ECS MID-ATLANTIC LLC
SB1600233 / CONSTRUCTION
Three borings will be completed utilizing a geoprobe direct push drill rig using a duel tube sampling device. the borings will create a 2.25 inch anulus. The geoprobe will advance all 3 borings to a depth of 30 feet below ground surface or until refusal or dense clay is encountered. following completion of the soil borings holes will be tremme grouted from the bottom to the top using a mixture of ...
1331 2ND ST SE   
05/16/16 
DC WATER / DC WATER; CORMAN CONSTRUCTION
AH1600698 / CONSTRUCTION
After Hours work for structure excavation and support for B1311474 & B1605659 DC Water, Corman Construction 202-863-0052
1005 3RD PL SE   
05/12/16 
PETER D TRIFU / JOSE M. MORALES
P1606192 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1300 4TH ST SE   
05/10/16 
LOU FOREST CITY - WASHINGTON / GEORGE MORETRENCH AMERICAN CORP.
SB1600070 / CONSTRUCTION
To drill and install 18 deep wells with 12" diameter of borehole and 6" well casing, and 4 observation wells with 6" diameter of borehole and 2" well casing to 80 feet via Mud Rotary drilling for the temporary construction dewatering of the proposed below grade construction. All drill spoils will be contained and disposed of according to federal and District of Columbia regulations.
1000 5TH ST SE   
05/25/16 
KIM MITCHELL, CDKM CONSULTING, LLC / OMAR BIAGAS; KIM MITCHELL, CDKM CONSULTING, LLC; JOHN BIAGAS
E94700028 / SUPPLEMENTAL
This supplemental permit was issued online. Use the Online Permit View application on DCRA Intranet to view the details and print a copy of the permit. Alternatively, you can copy and paste the following URL into an internet browser. https: / / ospi.dcra.dc.gov / ospi / PrintPermit.aspx?param = zI8IgGJEIleDWgjMbZfwro4FBxVFy8Px
1220 12TH ST SE 200   
05/11/16 
WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT CO / RALPH THREATT
E1606272 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1220 12TH ST SE   
05/11/16 
CORPORATE OFFICE PROPERTIES TRUST / KELLY WALSH; CORPORATE OFFICE PROPERTIES TRUST; THOMAS DVORAK
E74440979 / SUPPLEMENTAL
This supplemental permit was issued online. Use the Online Permit View application on DCRA Intranet to view the details and print a copy of the permit. Alternatively, you can copy and paste the following URL into an internet browser. https: / / ospi.dcra.dc.gov / ospi / PrintPermit.aspx?param = zI8IgGJEIldFWRC67V1mkMF%2fVBuW5xWq
70 I ST SE 832   
05/17/16 
null / NA NA NA
EHOP1690678 / HOME OCCUPATION
10 I ST SE   
05/19/16 
TIMOTHY TEMPLE- CAPITAL HILL RACQUET CLUB / TIMOTHY TEMPLE- CAPITAL HILL RACQUET CLUB; ECS MID-ATLANTIC LLC
SB1600232 / CONSTRUCTION
Five borings will be completed utilizing a geoprobe direct push drill rig using a duel tube sampling device. the borings will create a 2.25 inch anulus. The geoprobe will advance all 5 borings to a depth of 30 feet below ground surface or until refusal or dense clay is encountered. following completion of the soil borings holes will be tremme grouted from the bottom to the top using a mixture of p...
   
05/24/16 
CAPITAL HILL RACQUET CLUB C/O HUNTER DAWKINS, JOHNSON DEVELOPMEN / CAPITAL HILL RACQUET CLUB C/O HUNTER DAWKINS, JOH; ECS MID-ATLANTIC, LLC C/O REBECCA RUSCHMAN
SB1600235 / CONSTRUCTION
We will perform three borings on this property to a depth of 60 feet below the existing site grades. The borings will be drilled utilizing a 3.25-inch, hollow-stem, continuous flight auger and will generate an approximately 6 inch annulus. After geotechnical exploration is complete, the borings will be backfilled with bentonite slurry consisting of 2 lbs bentonite powder to 1 gallon of water ratio...
201 L ST SE   
05/19/16 
NA DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY / NA DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY; ECS MID-ATLANTIC LLC
SB1600234 / CONSTRUCTION
Two borings will be completed utilizing a geoprobe direct push drill rig using a duel tube sampling device. the borings will create a 2.25 inch anulus. The geoprobe will advance both borings to a depth of 30 feet below ground surface or until refusal or dense clay is encountered. following completion of the soil borings holes will be tremme grouted from the bottom to the top using a mixture of pow...
14 M ST SE   
05/16/16 
ANDREW ROYALS
B1608241 / CONSTRUCTION
repair and replacement of window and frame
50 M ST SE   
05/18/16 
KCG 50 M LLC ENGLEWOOD LLC / TIEVY; KCG 50 M LLC ENGLEWOOD LLC; TRACIE CLAXTON-RAMOS
SG1600300 / CONSTRUCTION
2 Signs Channel Letters Illuminated 2 Blade Signs illuminated
100 M ST SE FLOOR 7   
05/24/16 
SQUARE 743 INC / DAVID FLEMING
P1606462 / SUPPLEMENTAL
100 M ST SE   
05/19/16 
SQUARE 743 INC AND 100 M ST SE LLC / LHREV WASHINGTON M STREET LLC A DELAWARE LLC; KIM MITCHELL CDKM CONSULTING LLC
B1605938 / CONSTRUCTION
APPROX 7938 SF TENANT FIT OUT - CURRENTLY SHELL CONDITION - FLOORING, DOORS, AND HARDWARE, DRYWALL, CEILILNG, LIGHTS, MECHANICAL, SPRINKLER AND PLUMBING TO BE ADDED. ALL WORK TO BE DONE ON 7TH FLOOR
   
05/24/16 
RICHARD ELLIS / DAVID HUDGENS; RICHARD ELLIS; DAVID HUDGENS
P10155121 / SUPPLEMENTAL
This supplemental permit was issued online. Use the Online Permit View application on DCRA Intranet to view the details and print a copy of the permit. Alternatively, you can copy and paste the following URL into an internet browser. https: / / ospi.dcra.dc.gov / ospi / PrintPermit.aspx?param = zI8IgGJEIleDWgjMbZfwrvBRHQhIHx5f
800 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
05/10/16 
SQUARE 737 LLC / KONE INC
EN1602094 / SHOP DRAWING
Type of Elevator : Two (2) Electrical / steel / center / passenger / 3 floors Condition: Application for Modification of construction code MVQ1600091 & MVQ160092
   
05/10/16 
SQUARE 737 LLC / KONE INC
EN1602095 / SHOP DRAWING
Type of Elevator : Three (3) Electrical / steel / center / passenger / 3 floors Elevator : G1, G2, G3 Condition: Application for Modification of construction code MVQ1600090 & MVQ160089 & MVQ1600088
   
05/10/16 
SQUARE 737 LLC / KONE INC
EN1602107 / SHOP DRAWING
Type of Elevator : One (1) Electrical / steel / center / passenger / 2 floors Elevator : G6, Condition: Application for Modification of construction code MVQ1600093
861 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
05/18/16 
NA CSX TRANSPORTATION, INC.
AH1600719 / CONSTRUCTION
Work in public ROW within the Virginia Avenue Tunnel Reconstruction Project LOD for utility, demolition, and concrete structure construction activities. Activities will occur at the following areas: between 2nd Street SE and 3rd Street SE along Virginia Avenue SE, intersection of 3rd Street SE and Virginia Avenue SE, between 3rd Street SE and 4th Street SE along Virginia Avenue SE, intersection of...
880 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
05/19/16 
880 NEW JERSEY AVENUE LLC / 880 NEW JERSEY AVENUE LLC; BRUCE PADDOCK SWIMMING POOL COMPANY
SP1600027 / CONSTRUCTION
1st, 2nd 3rd, and 4th extension to permit SP1300053 to expire 6 / 18 / 2016
1200 NEW JERSEY AVE SE 20024   
05/26/16 
JBG COMPANIES / JBG COMPANIES; KRISTINA DELGADO
B1605873 / CONSTRUCTION
Renovations to office space on 3rd floor. Approx. 2000SF.
300 TINGEY ST SE 1ST/2ND   
05/11/16 
FC BOILERMAKER LLC / WILLIAM P SAUREST
P1606136 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 TINGEY ST SE 202   
05/11/16 
FC BOILERMAKER LLC / WILLIAM P SAUREST
P1606138 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 TINGEY ST SE   
05/11/16 
FC BOILERMAKER LLC / ALBERT E. WILLIAMS
M1602037 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/11/16 
FC BOILERMAKER LLC / ALBERT E. WILLIAMS
M1602039 / SUPPLEMENTAL
355 WATER ST SE   
05/18/16 
PAUL GRUBER NEW BELGIUM BREWING COMPANY
TN1600129 / CONSTRUCTION
Special Event Tour de Fat 1 36x24 stage 5 20x20 tents 1 20x20 hexagon tent No generators
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;

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