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Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

A little more about Wheatley Elementary School

Wheatley Elementary School, Washington, DCWheatley Elementary School photo by Inked78. (I will try to get a photo of Webb Elementary later today and add it to this entry.)

The Frozen Tropics blog has a short mention of Wheatley and Webb Schools in Trinidad, in the context of their proposed consolidation. The blog also offers a companion set of photos of Wheatley School on Flickr.

Webb Elementary, Mt. Olivet Road, Washington, DCWebb Elementary, Mt. Olivet Road, Washington, DC. (For a "new" school, it's not terrible looking. And "choosing" between the two for consolidation is complicated. Both schools are adjacent to DPR Recreation Centers, although the Trinidad facility next to Webb is under construction. Between Webb and the Rec Center is a large field with a baseball diamond and lights for night playing.)

I understand the need to have only one school, given the enrollment numbers, which are pretty small.

Personally, I think that it's better for kids to go to schools in historic builidngs, because such buildings say a lot about what was valued, where today's value-engineered generic buildings communicate to children that education is but a commodity.

However, I imagine that the School System (1) doesn't want to pay to renovate Wheatley; and (2) understands that the school, for the most part grand historic buildings, would be in high demand for conversion to condominiums or apartments such as in Evolve LLC's nice renovation of the nearby Pierce School into apartments, or the now fairly common conversion of school buildings into condominiums such as Lovejoy or Bryan Schools.

We need to come to terms with how we value education and what values we communicate to our children through our actions. These decisions are too important to leave to government agency functionaries.

Bryan School imageBryan School Lofts image from the developer website.

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