Dr. Ferebee's Response about Georgetown Day School and "Old Hardy" DCPS Sites




Pated below is a copy of an email sent by Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee, the Chancellor of DC Public Schools, in response to an inquiry sent by Commissioner Szymkowicz.


From: Ferebee, Lewis (DCPS) <Lewis.Ferebee@k12.dc.gov> Date: Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 3:10 PM To: Szymkowicz, JP (SMD 3D09) <3D09@anc.dc.gov> Subject: Re: ANC Commissioner Szymkowicz - Request for Information about Georgetown Day School and "Old Hardy" Sites - March 11, 2021

Commissioner Szymkowicz,

Thank you for reaching out and for your questions about our school planning projects in Ward 3. Please find responses to your questions below.

Georgetown Day School Property

1.            What is the status of the District of Columbia’s proposed purchase of the former Georgetown Day School property?

The District of Columbia closed on the property March 29, 2021.

2.            What are the terms (purchase price) of the District of Columbia’s proposed purchase of the former Georgetown Day School property?  If there is a written document that reflects the purchase of this property, please provide a copy of such written document.

The all-in closing price was $45,565,751.80.

3.            Has the cost been calculated to modernize and bring the existing former Georgetown Day School building and land up to current requirements so that the complex can be opened as a District of Columbia Public School?  If so, what is that cost?  Also, if there are written documents that reflect these costs, please provide a copy of such written documents?

The former Georgetown Day School is in generally good condition and does not require a modernization in order to be considered on par with other DCPS facilities. As the building previously functioned as GDS’ Lower School, there will need to be some modifications made to the building to accommodate the academic programming that is ultimately decided for that facility. The final grade configuration and programming will help inform the final scope and cost of that work.

4.            Does any traffic impact study exist with regard to the District of Columbia’s expected use of the former Georgetown Day School property as a District of Columbia Public School?  If so, please provide a copy of this study.

The Rock Creek Far West Livability Study , undertaken by DDOT in 2019, encompasses the area in which the former Georgetown Day School is located.

5.            What is the expected opening date of this public school?

DCPS anticipates that the former Georgetown Day School site (referred to in DCPS’ planning as MacArthur school) will open no earlier than SY22-23. This timeline will allow DCPS to provide sufficient notice to families whose school assignments may change and to allow for planning for the new school.

6.            How many students are expected to attend this new District of Columbia public school?

Once DCPS finalizes program decisions for the MacArthur site, specific enrollment projections will be developed for the school. At this time, DCPS estimates that the MacArthur site has capacity for approximately 700 students.

7.            What does the District of Columbia expect the use of this location to be (elementary, middle or high school)?

No decisions have been made as to the expected use of the building. DCPS has outlined an engagement process that spans February through May and includes establishing a Community Working Group that includes parent, school and community representatives, including you as the representative from ANC3D. In addition to the Community Working Group, throughout the month of April we will be engaging the broader community. In DCPS’ current planning, the scenarios proposed for the MacArthur building leverage the site as a permanent home for secondary students (middle school or high school). DCPS has also shared potential scenarios with the Community Working Group that would temporarily leverage MacArthur for elementary needs on a short-term (1-2 year) basis, before transitioning the building to permanent secondary use. For more detailed information on the current use scenarios being considered please review the CWG meeting materials here.

“Old Hardy” Lease to The Lab School

1.            What is the status of the District of Columbia’s proposed extension of the lease of the “Old Hardy” building to The Lab School?

A lease amendment with Lab School was executed on December 24, 2020 and extended the lease term for 15 years through December 31, 2038.

2.            What are the terms (rental price, length of lease, any landlord provided benefits such as renovations paid by the landlord, etc.) of the lease of the “Old Hardy” building to The Lab School? If there is a written document that reflects the terms of this lease, please provide a copy of such written document.

DGS is responsible for managing the lease agreements. Please contact them directly or submit a FOIA request directly to DGS for this information.

3.            Has the District of Columbia made any effort to market this building to any prospective tenant, other than The Lab School, in order to maximize the District of Columbia’s return on investment?  If so, what efforts were made?  If there are written documents that reflect such marketing efforts, please provide a copy of such written documents.

No, we are simply extending a lease to a good-faith tenant who has been in the property for a number of years.

4.            Has the District of Columbia made any effort to determine the fair market rental value of this building, in order to maximize the District of Columbia’s return on investment?  If so, what efforts were made?  Also, what is the fair market rental value of this building?  If there are written documents that reflect the fair market rental value of this building, please provide a copy of such written documents.

No. An appraisal has not been procured for this building. The tenant will continue to pay the current rental rate per the lease, until the extension term begins on January 1, 2024. At such time rent will be set at Fair Market Value based on an independent appraisal.

New School Construction Adjacent to the “Old Hardy” Building or in Hardy Park Itself

1.            Has there been any communications between or among the Mayor’s Office, the District of Columbia Public Schools and/or the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation with regard to the use of all or part of Hardy Park (including the Hardy Recreation Center building) for the purpose of constructing a new District of Columbia Public School?  If so, what is the substance of these communications?  If such written communications exist concerning this subject, please provide a copy of such written communications. 

DCPS and DPR have engaged in conversations regarding the construction a new DCPS school. DPR is supportive of the project and we will continue to work closely with them as plans progress and we will develop an operational agreement between the agencies when operational plans are developed.

2.            Does any study exist with regard to the District of Columbia’s use of all or Hardy Park for public school purposes?  If so, please provide a copy of such a study.

DCPS worked with DPR to determine the feasibility of using a portion of the Hardy Recreation Center to support a new elementary school while providing minimal disruption to the rec center project.

3.            Are there any written documents concerning the District of Columbia’s use of Hardy Park for public school purposes?  If so, please provide a copy of such written documents.

There are no written documents or agreements in place at this time, but a MOA will be developed as operational plans are developed.

4.            Has the cost been calculated to construct a District of Columbia Public School in or around Hardy Park?  If so, what is that cost?  Also, if there are written documents that reflect the computation of these costs, please provide a copy of such written documents?

$56M was included in the approved FY21 Capital Improvement Plan for the construction of Foxhall ES. This number is based off of constructing a 75,000 SF elementary school with the cost per square foot data derived from previously completed DCPS construction projects.

5.            Does any traffic impact study exist with regard to the District of Columbia’s expected use as a public school of the area around the “Old Hardy” building or in Hardy Park ?  If so, please provide a copy of this study.

The Rock Creek Far West Livability Study , undertaken by DDOT in 2019, encompasses the area in which the proposed Foxhall Elementary school will be located. As a part of the design and construction of Foxhall ES, a traffic study will be undertaken by the design-build team.

6.            What is the expected opening date of this public school?

Funding for the Foxhall building spans from FY21-FY24, with the expectation that the project will require 1 year of design followed by two years of construction, with the building completed by August of 2024. DCPS anticipates that Foxhall will open for students in SY24-25.

7.            How many students are expected to attend this new District of Columbia public school?

Once DCPS finalizes program decisions for the Foxhall site, specific enrollment projections will be developed for the school. At this time, DCPS estimates that the Foxhall site has capacity for approximately 450-550 students, with the range determined by the grade configuration served.

8.            What does the District of Columbia expect the use of this location to be (elementary, middle or high school)?

No decisions have been made as to the expected use of the building. DCPS has outlined an engagement process that spans February through May and includes establishing a Community Working Group that includes parent, school and community representatives, including you as the representative from ANC3D. In addition to the Community Working Group, throughout the month of April we will be engaging the broader community. The Community Working Group will develop recommendations for the Chancellor and Mayor to consider as they make a final decision. In DCPS’ current planning, the scenarios proposed for the Foxhall building leverage the site as a permanent home for either a new PK4-5 elementary school or a 3rd-5th grade campus for Stoddert and Key. For more information on the options discussed with the Community Working Group, please review the materials available here.

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