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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Van Ness Elementary
See JDLand's Van Ness Elementary Project Page
for Photos, History, and Details
In the Pipeline
1244 South Capitol
One M/10 Van
Yards/Icon Theater
DC Water HQ
New Douglass Bridge
Yards/Parcel O
JBG/Akridge/Half St.
Lynch/Half St.
Chiller Site Condos
Yards/Parcel A
1333 M St.
Capper Apts.
250 M St.
New Marine Barracks
Nat'l Community Church
Factory 202/Yards
Congressional Square
1000 South Capitol
Southeast Blvd. ('15)
11th St. Bridges ('15)
Parc Riverside ('14)
Twelve12/Yards ('14)
Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Capitol ('13)
Canal Park ('12)
Capitol Quarter ('12)
225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
Foundry Lofts ('12)
1015 Half Street ('10)
Yards Park ('10)
Velocity Condos ('09)
Teague Park ('09)
909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
55 M ('09)
100 M ('08)
Onyx ('08)
70/100 I ('08)
Nationals Park ('08)
Seniors Bldg Demo ('07)
400 M ('07)
Douglass Bridge Fix ('07)
US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
Capper Seniors 1 ('06)
Capitol Hill Tower ('06)
Courtyard/Marriott ('06)
Marine Barracks ('04)
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33 Blog Posts Since 2003
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A few more tidbits to pass along after the multiple head smacks I visited upon myself upon realizing I should have included them yesterday:
* VAN NESS AND TEETER: If you'd like to support your old/new neighborhood elementary school while shopping at your still-sort-of-new neighborhood grocery store, you can participate in Harris Teeter's Together in Education program by linking your VIC card to Van Ness Elementary by using the account number 3472, either by telling a cashier or using an online Teeter account. Then shop for the various Teeter house brands and Van Ness will receive 5 percent of your purchase prices. (And you can link up to five schools to one VIC card if you have multiple loyalties.)
* NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDE: CSX announced late last week that it launched a Neighborhood Guide web site for the Barracks Row and Capitol Riverfront neighborhoods, in order to "promote area businesses to the hundreds of construction personnel and project staff who will be working in the neighborhood during the 30-42 month tunnel-reconstruction project."
* TRUCKEROO ENCORE: The Fairgrounds folks have added one more Truckeroo food truck festival to the 2015 calendar, on Friday, Oct. 9 from 11 am to 11 pm. Hopefully it will have stopped raining by then.
* CRIME FEEDS: You may have noticed that the crime reports on the JDLand home page have gone silent of late--MPD apparently transitioned to a new back end, which has resulted in reformattings of both the e-mailed and downloadable reports that I had spent numerous hours building parsers for, so now I have to rewrite those. At least I get three hours of most every day back after Sunday....
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More posts: crime, CSX/Virginia Ave. Tunnel, teeter, truckeroo, Van Ness Elementary

It's hard to believe that in a few months the first batch of students will return to Van Ness Elementary, for the first time since 2006. With initial renovations and plans for the 2015-16 school year underway, the school is hosting a "Showcase" community meeting on Wednesday, June 17, from 6 to 8 pm.
Note that it is at 200 I St., SE, not at the school itself.
The Head of School, Cynthia Robinson-Rivers, will be there, as will the initial teachers. The interior and exterior renovation plans will also be on display, as will the new playground designs.
The school is opening with PK-3, PK-4, and kindergarten classes, with plans to add one grade each year until 5th grade is reached.
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More posts: meetings, Van Ness Elementary

Originally scheduled in February but delayed thanks to snow, the fundraiser at Nando's Peri-Peri for Van Ness Elementary in advance of the school's reopening this fall is now happening on Tuesday, March 24.
Bring the flyer to Nando's between 5 pm and 10 pm, order food, and Nando's will donate 40% of fundraiser sales to help raise money for the school. (Don't fret either the Feb. 17 date on it or about the RSVP stuff.)
This is the third in the series of fundraisers for nearby schools put on by the Near Southeast Community Partners group and Nando's, and there's a mini-competition going on to see which school raises the most money. So, if you're in the mood for chicken and mushed minty peas on Tuesday, print out the flyer and head to Tingey Street....
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More posts: Events, Van Ness Elementary

Everybody enjoying their snow day? (Except for those of you who work for places that don't close, like, say, daily newspapers.) This was a nice little snow, but I remain spoiled by the ghost of 2009-10, the winter that this snow lover will always remember. (This Nats Park shot is from Feb. 7, 2010, in between the two mammoth snowstorms. It was a pretty different neighborhood that I traisped around in getting photos....)
On to the tidbits:
* SNOW CANCELLATIONS: The BID's Mardi Gras celebration planned for today has been cancelled (except for beads still being handed out), and the Van Ness Elementary fundraiser at Nando's has been rescheduled for March 24. (But the latter gives me an excuse to mention that I have finally built a Van Ness project page!)
* SNOW CANCELLATIONS/CSX: Today was supposed to be the hearing on the Committee of 100's move for an injunction to prevent CSX from moving forward on the Virginia Avenue Tunnel until the lawsuit itself is heard, but Mother Nature has forced a postponement, to a date to be determined. But you can still read the Post's preview piece on the hearing.
* TRAPEZE SCHOOL MOVE: It had started to seem like the Trapeze School's long-planned move to the southwest corner of Spooky Park at New Jersey and Tingey wasn't necessarily a given, but HillNow reports that the school has now confirmed the move, likely to happen this fall. In the meantime, there's a zoning case to be heared in March to allow them to stay in their current spot during this year, while their new home is prepped.
* SECURITY THEATER: The photo of construction outside the Nats Park centerfield gate at right that I posted a few weeks back brought much speculation, but it's now confirmed that the work was/is to install magnetometers (WaPo).
* CHANGE AT WILLIE'S: Eater DC reports that both chef Rock Harper and his brother/general manager Ed Howard have left Willie's Brew & Que. No hints on why.
* THE GLOBAL REACH OF SNARK: Technically off-topic, but I learned last week that tossing out snarky comments on Twitter can sometimes have a reach beyond just my followers. (See paragraph #5.) Thank heavens I spelled "artisanal" correctly.

In the wake of the Jan. 28 "design slam", the team working on the plans for the renovations of Van Ness Elementary is circulating a document with some of the results of that effort, which includes first renderings of what the school's exterior could look like, showing the plans to add one story onto the building's south wing, which you can compare to the current view to orient yourself (click to enlarge):
The first phase of renovations will apparently focus on the first two floors of the building's main wing along 5th Street, where the Preschool, Pre-K, and Kindergarten classrooms will be when the school reopens this fall. There would also be a reworked a reworked entrance to level the door with the first floor, and temporary parking and play areas in the courtyard on the building's northeast side.
Draft interior schematics show that south wing could eventually include the gym/auditorium and the cafeteria on its first floor. and a media center, computer lab, music/art rooms on the second, with green roofs and facing bringing the south end's exterior height up to match the 5th Street wing.
If you are wanting to get involved in the run-up to Van Ness's reemergence, the Van Ness Parent Group is the place to go.
(And one of these days I'll create my own Van Ness project page!)
UPDATE: There is also now a DC Department of General Services project page for the Van Ness renovation, with a great archive of documents from the process.
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As preparations ramp up to reopen Van Ness Elementary School this fall, DCPS is holding a "Design Slam" on Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 6 pm in the school's auditorium at 5th and L streets, SE.
As the flyer says, the goal of this session "is to listen to your ideas in order to develop a design that celebrates the best characteristics of the Van Ness community," looking toward what elements of the neighborhood's history and its riverfront location should be incorporated and "celebrated" in the design.
Architectural firm Quinn Evans is working on the project, and the bidding process for the construction itself will happen this spring.
Free childcare and food at the Slam will be provided by the Van Ness Parent Group.
And while it's still a couple of weeks away, this is a good time to also mention that the Near Southeast Community Partners group is hosting a Van Ness Elementary School Fundraiser on Feb. 17 at Nando's Peri-Peri. From 6 pm to 10 pm, the restaurant will donate 40 percent of its receipts from all sales made to people with the fundraiser flyer in hand. [insert "Winner winner chicken dinner reference here]
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More posts: meetings, Van Ness Elementary

Cleaning out the tidbit hopper with some new and not-quite-so-new items of note. I imagine posting will be light in the next few days, but you never know.
And so a Happy Holidays to all, from the entire staff of! Including from George, pictured at right.
* MOVIE THEATER LATEST: I mentioned this on Twitter last week, and appended it to my post on the subject, but I've heard kvetching from certain quarters that I did not specifically post anew that last week the DC Council passed the emergency versions of bills that among other things declare portions of the DC Water site at 1st and O as "surplus." This will allow the process of Forest City developing its movie theater there to move forward another step.
* VAN NESS KINDERGARTEN: I have been embarrassingly slow to report that earlier this month DCPS made known its decision that Van Ness Elementary will open next year with two kindergarten classes (in addition to PK-3 and PK-4). There will be 15 out-of-bounds spaces in these classes. The school system also released this FAQ about Van Ness's opening if you are just catching up.
* 100 M STREET SOLD: reports that Lionstone Investments and Hermes Real Estate have purchased the 100 M Street SE office building, with a source "pinpointing the purchase price at $78.9 million, or $324 per square foot." The building originally went up for sale back in 2012. This is the Gordon Biersch building, for those of you who don't look at address signs.
* METRO BALLGAME USE: WMATA's "PlanItMetro" blog took a deep dive into ridership patterns on Nationals game days at the Navy Yard-Ballpark and Capitol South stations. "Carrying an average of 11,000 riders to every Nationals home game, Metrorail maintained a 34% mode share to Nationals park in the 2014 season." There's also a good discussion of what the numbers may mean in the comments of this Greater Greater Washington post (along with chit-chat about the new Southeast Blvd.).

Arriving in the inbox this morning is notice that a historic landmark nomination application has been filed for the Lincoln Playground Field House, one of the little red brick buildings just to the east of Van Ness Elementary on L Street, SE at the Joy Evans Recreation Center site.
It was built in 1934, and the application's "Statement of Significance Summary Paragraph" (page 10 of 30) is probably the best place to go for the explanation:
"The Lincoln Playground field house qualifies for listing in the National Register under Criterion C as a good example of the city's recreational buildings, designed according to an established building type during the tenure of Municipal Architect Albert Harris (1921-1933). The field house, designed in the Colonial Revival style followed a standard plan for field houses from that period. The Lincoln Playground field house remains a notable example of its type and is the product of Municipal Architect Albert L. Harris, whose work is closely identified with civic architecture in Washington, D.C. Furthermore, it is the only example of this type located outside of NW Washington -- in this case, located in SE -- the only example constructed entirely of brick, and the only example constructed on a "colored" playground during the period when Washington playgrounds were segregated. It is also one of two examples of this type constructed as a Civil Works Administration project.
"The Lincoln Playground field house retains its integrity of location, setting, design, craftsmanship, materials, feeling and association. The field house is a purpose-built recreational structure of the District of Columbia; it was constructed according to an established design model and embodies characteristics illustrating the evolution of recreational architecture in the District; it stands on its original site; and it retains its original building massing and materials."
There's considerable additional detail in the filing, if you are looking for more. Note that the other two smaller red brick buildings surrounding the playground are not part of the application.
The application was filed by Kent Boese on behalf of "Historic Washington Architecture," the same group that prepared a similar application in 2011 for the Market Deli at 1st and L, which was eventually rejected.
This now goes through the city's landmarking process. The fact that this was filed at about the same time that the plans are going forward for renovating Van Ness Elementary right next door would seem to be more than a coincidence, but I have no background on this yet. Once an application is accepted by the city's Historic Preservation Office, the building becomes protected, and no building permits can be issued for the building until the Historic Preservation Review Board votes on the application.
(In case you're wondering, the overhead photo showing the building in question at lower right was taken in 2007 from the roof of the Old Capper Seniors building, just before it was demolished.)
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More posts: lincolnplayground, preservation, Van Ness Elementary

As part of the path toward the planned reopening next fall of Van Ness Elementary School at 5th and M streets, SE, DCPS has scheduled public meetings on Nov. 18 and Nov. 20 for residents in Near Southeast and Southwest to learn about the plans for the school, and to be able to provide feedback on those plans.
These sessions follow a meeting back in September between parents' groups and Dr. Nathaniel Beers, DCPS's head of specialized instruction, in which the parents were displeased with some of the information coming from the school system, specifically the plans to not have a principal in place during the planning process, and also DCPS's intent to open the school with only two PK-3 and two PK-4 classrooms, and no kindergarten.
A subsequent communication from Dr. Beers to the Van Ness Parents Group indicated, however, that an "Executive Director" will be put in place in early 2015, a person "whose primary responsibilities are to functioning as the leader of Van Ness, including engaging deeply with future parents and community members and actively recruiting students to ensure Van Ness opens fully enrolled."
In addition, the plea from parents for kindergarten offerings in the initial 2015-16 school year was not fully ignored, with DCPS agreeing to review community analysis data again before making a final decision. This has the parents' group working hard to find kindergarten-age children who could be sent to Van Ness in 2015.
These meetings should also have some information on the School Improvement Team process for the school going forward.
The meeting schedule:
* Tuesday, Nov. 18, from 6 to 8 pm, at Van Ness Elementary; and
* Thursday, Nov. 20, from 6 to 8 pm at the James Creek Resident Council Office, 100 N St. SW.
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More posts: meetings, Van Ness Elementary

These are all items I had hoped to write about more fully, but at this point I'd better just pass them along.
* FLORIDA ROCK: MRP Realty is now in control of the land at the Florida Rock site that will become the 350-unit apartment building that is the first phase of RiverFront on the Anacostia. A $65 million loan is expected to be finalized soon, and the developers say that the project will "commence construction by late summer 2014." (WBJ)
* BEVY OF PERMITS: If you browse the teeny type in the right margin of the JDLand home page, you'll already know that building permits have been approved in the past few weeks for the apartment projects at 1111 New Jersey and 1331 4th Street (aka Parcel N at the Yards, aka Arris). A tenant layout permit has also been approved for CBS Radio's first-floor performance studio at 1015 Half Street. Also, fresh off its zoning approvals, developers of the Homewood Suites at 50 M have filed for shoring/sheeting/excavation permits.
* LATEST ON 1333 M: Late last year plans were filed with the Zoning Commission for a three-building, 673-unit residential project on M Street east of the 11th Street Bridges. After some delay, a Dec. 1 hearing date has been set, and WBJ takes a look at recent filings, including some new renderings.
* THE YARDS, ONE PIECE AT A TIME: "Rather than purchase all 42 acres up front, Forest City buys each parcel from the General Services Administration as it is ready to build. The latest: The $28.37 million acquisition of 1331 Fourth St. SE, site of the 327-unit Arris apartment project." Total land costs so far across the Yards? $46 million. (WBJ)
* TUNNEL LATEST: With a council hearing about the project coming on Aug. 26, the Federal Highway Administration has postponed its final decision on the Virginia Avenue Tunnel until at least Sept. 15. But the delay is affecting residents and businesses. (WaPo)
* SCHOOL BOUNDARIES: The planned reopening of Van Ness Elementary next year passes another milestone, as its boundaries get included in the city's revamped map, released earlier this week. The final boundaries cross into Southwest south of M Street, shifting some students over to Van Ness from Amidon-Bowen, "to better align school building capacity with population and with boundary participation rates, and to support racial/ethnic and socioeconomic diversity, where possible." (WaPo)
33 Posts:
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