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Charter school secures permits to revitalize vacant building

Washington Latin Public Charter School rendering

After seven years of renting space in mobile trailers and church basements, Washington Latin Public Charter School is getting its own building.

Martha Cutts, the head of Latin PCS, confirms that the school has been awarded the former D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) Rudolph Elementary School building in Brightwood Park, closed since 2008, and that Latin has received the permits to begin renovating the school.

"We are very crowded right now," Cutts says of the current setup. The school is currently spread over 31,000 square feet in three locations in 16th Street Heights, serving 600 students from fifth grade to seniors. Once Latin completes its renovations of the Rudolph building, located at 5200 2nd St NW, the campus will more than double to 75,000 square feet, plus athletic fields.

The school's plan is to have the first phase of renovations--modernizing the building, adding a library, and building a parking lot for 80 cars--by the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year. Later will come a new gymnasium.

There is plenty of work to be done between then and now, Cutts says, due to Rudolph having remained empty for so long. "I walked through that building for the first time a year ago," she says. "It was disgraceful. Broken glass over every floor...people had stolen copper piping."

Perkins Eastman and demian\wilbur\architects designed the new space, which, Cutts says, will finally be "commensurate with the education."

Read more articles by Rachel Kaufman.

Rachel is the managing editor of Elevation D.C. She also covers tech, business and science for publications nationwide. She lives in Brookland.
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