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Ten-hut: “On or about Oct. 31,” the U.S. Army will finally hand over dozens of acres on the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Ward 4 for the city to redevelop into residential, commercial, and other uses.
Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the long-expected transfer Thursday in a release about plans to open the District of Columbia International school there in time for the 2017 academic year. Roughly 66 acres, or more than half of the total 110-acre campus, will fall into D.C. hands for $22.5 million, per legislation local lawmakers approved this year. DCI—a foreign- language-focused charter school that serves students in grades 6 through 9 to date—will move into a built-out Delano Hall “to accommodate [its] rapid growth,” according to the release. The school, now located in an incubator space on 16th Street NW in Mount Pleasant, anticipates serving about 775 students across grades 6 through 12 in the near future, and more than 1,000 beyond that. It will join nonprofit and community groups in occupying the campus.
“We are looking forward to continued momentum so we can meet our construction start deadline of October,” DCI Executive Director Mary Shaffner said in a statement. In December, DCI Trustee Ayris Scales testified to the D.C. Council that parents of students had been frustrated with the speed of the project. “Even with our current enrollment, DCI struggles to fit into our existing space … and we can only accept students from our feeder schools next year because we are simply out of space,” Scales said.
The entire Walter Reed site will eventually house several hundred residential units. The expected layout of the future campus follows below. Other entities that will move there include anti-poverty nonprofit So Others Might Eat, Howard University Hospital, which will run an ambulatory care facility, and the D.C. fire department.