December 30, 2008

What does DC need?

This story comes to us courtesy of The DC Education Blog. WaPo reported on December 23rd Mayor Fenty's office:

is seeking to redevelop 11 now-shuttered public schools, inviting developers to submit proposals that can include retail space, offices and high-priced and affordable housing.

More than likely the Mayor has ideas of his own. A couple of the schools are prime targets to condo development since they're close to Metro stations and, especially in the case of Hine Junior High, happen to be in neighborhoods that are already pretty affluent. Still, some of the shuttered schools are in areas that are chronically underserved. Mayor Fenty has asked non-profits to add their proposals in with the rest, which has me thinking about what we lack. Buildings the size of schools have huge potential. Medical clinics, affordable housing developments, homeless shelters, and a number of other support structures require large spaces to operate best. Considering the dearth of clinics, housing, and the recent removal of the Franklin Shelter, it would be a great show of support to the community for the Mayor's Office to seriously consider dedicating these properties to DC's safety net.

But, assuming the DC non-profit community gets some help, what's our greatest need? Is it housing? A literacy/job placement center? A medical clinic?

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