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What To Do With DCPS' Closed School Buildings?

Schools chancellor says buildings could be reused

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The Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools has proposed closing 20 schools in the District, saying there are too many buildings for the number of children served. But one of the burning questions on people's minds is about how that space will be reused. 

One of the biggest mistakes from the last round of closings, Henderson says, is that there are still buildings laying fallow.

"There are still buildings that we closed in 2008 that are empty," she says. "You hear me talk about building reuse, I don't want empty buildings." 

DCPS will retain control of the buildings, because the school-age population is expected to grow again between 2015 and 2022 by as much as 55 percent. If that happens, Henderson says, the District will want the flexibility to be able to reopen schools.

Henderson is asking for ideas from the community about the proposal and how to make the transition as easy as possible. Some ideas she has floated include opening a career and technical training center and partnering with charter schools and renting space to nonprofits. 

The mayor and chancellor will make a decision on the school closures in January.

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