Upcoming Watkins Renovations Community Meeting & Project Updates (updated)

This Thursday, January 29th, the DC Department of General Services and the DC Public Schools will host a community meeting to discuss the planned renovations (modernization) to Watkins Elementary.

Where: Watkins Elementary School, 420 12th Street SE
Date: Thursday, January 29, 2015
Time: 6:00pm-7:00pm (note updated time)

The meeting follows a previous community meeting in December and a series of School Improvement Team (SIT) meetings over the past month. All of these meetings are part of an ongoing process to plan and implement a large-scale, phased renovation. The renovation details are still being determined, but the general plan is to update core building systems, refurbish interior spaces, and potentially expand the building to gain additional educational space. The original plan for the January 29th meeting was to present a recommended concept design prepared by DGS in conjunction with DCPS and the SIT.

However, on Thursday (1/22), Mayor Bowser submitted a reprogramming request to the city council, which would reallocate roughly $50 million of capital funds for schools in the current fiscal year, reducing allocations to some schools while increasing the allocation to other schools. As part of the proposal, the Watkins modernization budget for FY15 would fall by $7,275,800 (down from approximately $14.25 million). The rationale for the reprogramming is that the Watkins project is a 'co-location' project with the Department of Parks and Recreation, which manages the Watkins field and multipurpose room. The Mayor's request states that 2015 would be used for more extensive planning, and the budget reduction is commensurate with that plan. The reprogramming request indicates some capital improvements--to address heating concerns--would still take place this year.

If you are interested in learning more about the Watkins modernization or have questions about the proposed reallocation of funds, please attend the meeting this Thursday.