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Mayor Bowser Launches Process to Reactivate Site of Former Ferebee-Hope School

Friday, May 31, 2019
Mayor Announces First Public Meeting to Build the Future with the Community

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser, with Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn and Department of General Services (DGS) Director Keith Anderson, announced that the District will begin the process of reactivating the site of the former Ferebee-Hope School located at 3999 8th Street, SE. On July 9, DGS will hold the first of a series of public meetings to receive comments and engage with the community on planning the future of the site, including a modernization of the recreation center.

“We’ve heard it loud and clear from the community – it’s time to reactivate and develop the Ferebee-Hope site to breathe life back into this space and bring new opportunities to the neighborhood,” said Mayor Bowser. “I’m committed to working hand-in-hand with residents on what they want to see at the site.”

The former Ferebee-Hope School has been vacant for six years and is not needed for District government agency operational purposes. Following the law, the District will release a Request for Offers (RFO) for the vacant Ferebee-Hope School, located in Washington Highlands neighborhood in Ward 8, in August 2019. Under the law, charter schools are given “right of first offer” for excess DC Public School facilities, and preference is given to “high-performing and financially sound” charter schools. The RFO process will encompass three community meetings to discuss reactivating the property, including a meeting at which community members can comment on proposals.

“We believe the reactivation of the Ferebee-Hope site must include the entire site, which includes the community recreation center and pool,” said Deputy Mayor Paul Kihn. “Including the entire site can bring energy and momentum in bringing more jobs and benefits to the community, and the renovation of Ferebee-Hope Recreation Center will provide many benefits to residents.”

The Ferebee-Hope Recreation Center, which is connected to the former school, is in poor condition and substantial capital renovation is required. Modernization of the recreation center will be done utilizing the normal community engagement process.

“The process we will follow will encourage applicants to partner with other entities to ensure the surrounding community receives benefits from the redevelopment,” said DGS Director Keith Anderson. “The RFO will encourage that the adjacent and attached Ferebee-Hope Recreation Center is modernized as well and will allow DPR and other District agencies to expand programming to better serve Ward 8 residents.”