WaPo’s Bill Turque reported earlier this month that students at Wilson Senior High School would have to relocate while the city renovated their historic Tenleytown campus, and that the University of the District of Columbia would be a likely spot for their interlude.
Well, it’s now official: Wilson principal Pete Cahall informed parents today in an e-mail that the kids will be housed in UDC’s Building 52 next school year while the renovations at Wilson proceed. A groundbreaking, in fact, is scheduled for tomorrow.
The building, on the southwest corner of Connecticut Avenue and Yuma Street NW, is currently undergoing renovation to serve as UDC’s business school, says university spokesperson Alan Etter. It’s also planned to serve as the university’s student center.
One political sidenote that LL will point out: That DCPS and UDC were able to come to an understanding, with UDC willing to delay the opening of its business school, might very well mark a thaw in relations between the Fenty administration and UDC—-an institution Fenty has clashed with and made repeated attempts to assert more control over.
The university has been working closely with Allen Lew‘s school facilities shop on the deal, Etter says. DCPS is taking advantage of already-planned UDC-funded renovations at the building, but if any Wilson-specific changes need to be made, DCPS will foot the bill. “There’s been a great working relationship,” Etter says.
Despite the fact that work is proceeding post-haste—-some Wilson classrooms will be closed next semester as the project begins, forcing students into temporary spaces—-Turque noted that controversy persists over the plans for the Wilson reno.
Here’s Cahall’s note:
Good evening, Wilson Parents and Students…this is Principal Cahall calling with my weekly update.
I am pleased to announce that we will relocate our school to the University of the District of Columbia’s campus for the 2010-2011 school year. We will be housed in Building 52, a five story building on Connecticut Avenue. The building is currently gutted and work will begin immediately preparing the space for our arrival in August 2010.
Our ground breaking ceremony will be on Tuesday, December 15, 2009 and work will begin at Wilson after the winter break. When school resumes on January 4, we no longer have access to the auditorium wing of the building including the rose garden. Classrooms are being constructed in the armory and displaced classrooms from the auditorium will be located there.
We will need your continued support and assistance as we work through this process. We need to keep the end in mind which will be a full modernized and state of the art school when we return in 2011.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery