Crummell School RFP Developer presentations were held at Bethesda Baptist Church on Capitol Avenue Thursday evening. Dion Townley, Project Manager of DMPED kicked off the meeting. Nearly a hundred residents were on hand to watch the three finalists present their plans for Crummell School.
Crummell School was designed by Snowden Ashford in 1910 and named for educator Alexander Crummell. It was built in 1911 by Allan T. Howlson, and dedicated on November 23, 1911. It was closed in 1977. A community group used the school for a preschool, library, job training and daycare center. There have been a number of community meetings to identify uses for the school to address the needs of the community.
Pam Askew, Senior Vice President of WC Smith, Adam Weers, Principal, Trammell Crow Company, and William Jarvis, Principal of The Jarvis Company presented at tonight\’s meeting. All the presentations echoed a similar theme – building what the community wants. Residents had the opportunity to get their first look at potential floor plans and designs.
Residents Voice Concerns
The RFP process began over a year with small group facilitated public workshops. There have been follow-up community meetings to prioritize the responses from the community. The priorities include:
- Recreational and Community Uses
- Public spaces with outdoor activities
- Retail space for local and emerging businesses
- Job training
- Cultural and historical references to Alexander Crummell
The presenters reassured the residents that their plans are still open to community input. However, residents were still skeptical. They pointed to the need to employ skilled community members when construction begins. They also voiced concerns about longtime residents being priced out as new housing and retail come in. The presenters couldn\’t provide any assurances in this area. Property tax increases and cost-of-living increases are \”inherent in this kind of project. That\’s more of an issue for the city to deal with\”. That was the sentiment of the presenters.
The presentations will be repeated at the next ANC meeting on October 11th.