Local: Education

Fire-damaged DCPS building to become charter school

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Local,Education,Lisa Gartner

A former DC Public Schools campus that was damaged by a fire this summer is slated to become a charter school, city officials announced Thursday.

Trinidad's Webb Elementary School has been vacant since it was shuttered in 2008 by former Chancellor Michelle Rhee. In July, a two-alarm fire severely damaged the building when firefighters had trouble entering the building because its doors were welded shut.

"Despite a tragic fire that destroyed part of the building just a few months ago, we were able to move forward with a solicitation and now an award," Mayor Vincent Gray said.

KIPP DC, a top-ranked charter network that operates 10 programs at three campuses around the District, will take over the old Webb site. KIPP plans to run three programs for 1,000 students in prekindergarten through grade 8.

"Access to facilities has been the biggest barrier to our expansion efforts, so we are incredibly grateful for the chance to renovate and utilize the Webb Elementary School site," said KIPP DC Founder and CEO Susan Schaeffler.

The Department of General Services opened up Webb for solicitations in July, as well as for the old Young Elementary School and J.F. Cook Elementary School buildings, in Carver/Langston and Truxton Circle, respectively. Officials expect to award those leases in mid-November.

lgartner@washingtonexaminer.com

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