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Development News

As Capitol Riverfront grows, DC plans elementary school reopening

Van Ness Elementary

Plans are underway to renovate the currently-closed Van Ness Elementary School, at 1150 5th Street SE, in time for the 2015-2016 academic year.

The renovation of the school is being spurred by the increasing number of families that have moved into the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood, according to Melissa Salmanowitz of DCPS.
Planning and the public input process began this spring. Construction will begin later this year or early next.
The District's Capital Improvement Plan allocated a budget of $15 million for the renovation of the 49,000-square-foot building. “We will modernize the classrooms and update the building to current educational standards,” says Salmanowitz. The exterior of the 1950s-era building, however, may not change (no decision has yet been made).

Van Ness was closed as a public school in 2007. Since then, it has been used as a workspace for public school employees.
Capitol Riverfront is currently home to over 4,000 residents. A DCPS study in 2011 estimated that the population within a half-miile of Van Ness Elementary School would increase by 58 percent by 2015 and 80 percent by 2020. In 2011, there were 350 school-age children living within a half mile of the school.

Read more articles by Barbara Pash.

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