Last week Garrison Elementary had two events in which neighbors could help the modernization fund for the school.Then DC City Council Education Committee Chair David Catania (I-At Large) announced last week that resources had been identified that will help speed up the first phase of the modernization project.
Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) said, “I will support expediting that funding to support Garrison.”
Budget Chair Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) is also supporting Garrison: “I have vowed to make Garrison the gem of a neighborhood school that it should be. The funding I was able to secure for the field renovations last year was a first step, stopping it from closing was next and making sure that the renovations take place in an expeditious manner is part of that commitment.”
Original Timeline was Nine-Year Plan
The original plan of modernization of the school including three phases through 2022. Ann McLeod, Garrison PTA president said, “This is just unacceptable! The school has not been updated since it was originally built in 1964 and its facilities rank among the worst in the district. The $8 million is a great start. But the Garrison community, led by the PTA, will continue pushing for a full modernization by 2015, as we have been all along.”
In May a resolution was passed by ANC 2F and ANC 2B asking that the City Council appropriate $16 million to fully fund Garrison’s modernization in Fiscal Year 2014 to allow for a complete modernization.
Last year Garrison Elementary School was saved from closure, now it has to be renovated. Garrison is located 1200 S Street NW and serves elementary school for children in both Wards 1 and 2. The school hasn’t been renovated since 1964.
The Deputy Mayor for Education Plan recommends that schools in Garrison’s situation not be approached in phases. “A mere Phase 1 does not address the exterior of the building, which is a huge deterrent to enrollment, in all likelihood does not address ADA compliance, and does not encourage a coordinated approach to improve its 4.5 acres of outdoor space,” Garrison Improvement Project Chair Vanessa Bertelli points out. “It’s time for DC to show it can act as One City and fund the full modernization of a school that has the space and the grounds to be this community’s centerpiece.”