Friday, December 04, 2009

DC's Janney School Releases New School Renderings


Janney Elementary School in Tenleytown has released renderings of the addition that will nearly double the size of the existing school. The new plans represent the nearly final design for the 4-story addition to flank the school's western side, taking the place of the current playground.

Washington DC-based Devrouax and Purnell Architects have designed a modern structure of brick and glass to accompany the historic school, which was landmarked on November 19th by the DC Historic Preservation Board. Construction is expected to commence in March of 2010, after which the old school will be renovated.

The new plans come after several years of acrimony, a result of the original plans to build a library and apartment building next door, with the developer therefore restoring the aged school. The school will hold a public meeting on December 15th to procure feedback on the plans. Meanwhile, several months after the official ground-breaking, work actually began last week on the adjacent public library.

Washington DC real estate development news

18 comments:

IMGoph on Dec 4, 2009, 10:14:00 AM said...

why can't we click on these images to get larger versions of them? the text on the plan is too small to read!

Anonymous said...

Hard to tell here, but is access to the parking facility from the alley or from Albemarle Street?

The alley will make much more sense. While they are at it, why not put parking under the library, with access from the same alley location?

Some residential atop the library would do well too.

Anonymous said...

You still don't get it, do you, DC Mud? Is it just that you don't want to face the truth, or is it that you really are incapable of understanding reality? The developer was never going to "restore" the school. The developer was going to be given the property rights to the soccer field for an undetermined amount of money. This money might have gone toward the renovation and new addition for the school, but the original DC budgets for the library and school would still have been used. It was only a land sale deal, AND it would have taken away usable outdoor playspace for the elementary school. For once the tax payers are getting what they deserve from city services without a sweetheart deal to one of the administration's cronies.

Anonymous said...

Councilmember Cheh and Ward 3 Vision tried their best to get the city to sell or lease a large part of Janney's soccer field to a developer in the hopes that a developer would build a high rise residential building on the site. Their pipe dream was that money from such a developer could be used to pay for underground parking and free up other space for school purposes. They argued that the ONLY way to obtain underground parking was through a developer. Were they ever wrong.

No viable project was put forth by any of the three developers that presented proposals. This process delayed the reconstruction of the Tenley-Friendship Library by years.

Ironically, the new Janney plans call for the retention of its whole soccer field (i.e., no residential building) plus underground parking paid for by taxpayers.

This demonstrates that Councilmember Cheh and W3V simply delayed the library for years for something we didn't need developers to provide in the first place.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad we didn't end up with an apartment building on the school's soccer field. When you see how much of the existing playground space the new addition consumes, it's obvious how crucial it was not to give up any of the campus's land. And how unnecessary given that DCPS built underground parking itself.

Previous posters are right about the public-private "partnership" -- developers weren't going to provide a free school or library -- instead, they wanted one or both of those construction contracts bundled with a land deal. And, in the end, none of them could pull that off, even with subsidization, because they couldn't get financing for housing at that site.

So it's a relief to see both the school and the library moving ahead as public works projects. This is what we pay taxes for.

Anonymous said...

Wow -- a huge lost opportunity to put apartments at the Metro. Once again, the Tenley NIMBYs have succeeded in keeping the neighborhood from realizing its full potential. How sad that five mis-guided people have hijacked an entire neighborhood...

Anonymous said...

Agreed with Anon just above... This is a very sad outcome for all involved. Now the the 100 people who could have lived at the Metro will instead be living in Gaithersburg and commuting through our neighborhood by car. Its fitting that this plan was released the week of the Copenhagen climate conference since it does nothing to reduce our region's carbon footprint.

Anonymous said...

Why would the residential building have to be situated on Janney's soccer field (and over the library)? Why couldn't it be built on the east side of Wisconsin Avenue, right by that Tenleytown Metro entrance?

And doesn't building over the library reduce options for library expansion as the community grows?

Anonymous said...

What does Janney's SIT think of this outcome? Did it prefer the development proposals that called for use of a significant portion of its soccer field for the placement of a private multi-story residential building or does it prefer the school modernization proposal referred to in the original blog post?

Anonymous said...

The "five [unidentified] misguided people" who "have hijacked an entire neighborhood" must be extraordinarily powerful. They defeated Mayor Fenty, Councilmember Cheh, former Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Neil Albert, Ward 3 Vision, David Alpert (of Greater Greater Washington) and three large development companies that presented designs for the residential building on Janney's soccer field. I'd like to meet these folks and obtain their autographs.

Anonymous said...

Weird, the community can tolerate a large school addition but can't deal with any other logical development adjacent to a subway station and a large handful of bus routes. If not development there then where in DC? And why a need for parking when the site has ample mass transit options? Hey Ward 3, I thought we were the green, sustainable folks.

Anonymous said...

In response to the last comment:

1. There is ample opportunity to build a multi-story residential building on top of the Tenleytown Metro entrance on the EAST side of Wisconsin Avenue, on private and WMATA property.

2. Janney's modernization and expansion will lead to an INCREASE in the student population at that school to 550 students (plus additional staff to handle that increase). This means we need to find ways to INCREASE Janney's overall space -- not reduce it or keep it constant. Building a multi-story residential building on Janney's soccer field will REDUCE Janney's usable space.

Anonymous said...

I've just viewed the Janney modernization plans from the school's web site. I really like them. It looks like despite the significant increase in built-out space, the children are getting a net increase in open space because the parking is being placed underground.

What's not to like about this?

Anonymous said...

It is interesting that one of the posters claims that Ward 3 Vision is responsible for the delays in the reconstruction of the Tenley Library. To my knowledge, Ward 3 Vision didn't even exist when the Library was demolished (without plans or contract in place to rebuild).

Anonymous said...

Ward 3 Vision, along with others, was indeed responsible for years of delays in the rebuild of the Tenley-Friendship Library. Prior to becomming known as Ward 3 Vision, that organization went by the name "Ward 3 Smart Growth Coalition." Here is a link to an April 2, 2003 post by Ward 3 Smart Growth Coalition from the Tenleytown listserv:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tenleytown/message/489

However, the date on which the old Tenley-Friendship Library was demonished is not the relevant date here. The point is that Ward 3 Vision has lobbied hard with Councilmember Cheh, Mayor Fenty, former Deputy Mayor Albert and others to promote the construction of a multi-story residential building on Janney's soccer field. Here is a link to a July 10, 2008 press release from Ward 3 Vision's web site demonstrating this. It's titled, "Ward 3 Vision Lauds Tenley Library Partnership":

http://ward3vision.org/anx/index.cfm/1,97,277,0,html/Ward-3-Vision-Lauds-Tenley-Library-Partnership

Anonymous said...

The Tenley-Friendship Library is being built as these comments are being posted. Given that there will be no parking underneath the library, it seems that the concept of a multi-story residential building on top of and adjacent to the library is a non-starter. There simply would be insufficient parking to entice people to purchase residences at that site.

Anonymous said...

If what the last commenter has written is true, then the city is wasting about one million dollars by adding structural supports to the library to allow future development over a small part of it and on Janney's soccer field.

Anonymous said...

Why is the addition aesthetically out of sync with the existing building?

The better way to go about this is to provide three distinct options for the public to comment on.

The methodology can be found at

www.smartgrowthschools.org in the Report Card under Chapter 3.

 

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