Joint Letter on Garrison Modernization

Today, State Board of Education Members Laura Wilson Phelan (Ward 1), Joe Weedon (Ward 6) and I sent the following letter to Education Committee Chairman David Grosso (At-Large), asking for clarification on the modernization of Garrison Elementary School, which serves students throughout the District, and primarily in Wards 1, 2, and 6:

Chairman Grosso:

We write to urge you to consider the request of the Garrison Elementary School community to provide sufficient funds in the DC Public Schools capital planning budget to fully modernize the building during FY2016 and FY2017.

Current plans and budgets anticipate a partial modernization over these two fiscal years -- this year is primarily utility work on the S Street side of the building, and next year approximately two-thirds of the interior of the building will be renovated. However, the planned partial modernization plans do not currently include additional school needs including a modern kitchen, more robust multi-use communal areas, and a right-sized media center, among other key initiatives.

The Mayor’s State of the District Address indicated that DC Public Schools would no longer receive partial modernization -- all modernizations moving forward will be full modernizations under her plan. Previous modernizations already finished and those currently underway are primarily full modernizations as well. The lack of a full modernization for Garrison could be a simple oversight. Additional clarification on this point would be appreciated by all.

Thank you for your commitment to DC Public Schools and to the students in Wards 1, 2, and 6 and across the District that attend Garrison.

With appreciation,

Laura Wilson Phelan, Ward 1

Jack Jacobson, Ward 2

Joe Weedon, Ward 6

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