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9throwawayDERP t1_iui4us9 wrote

I wish they had built/kept the school for DCPS a decade ago. I have a feeling that this school is on the chopping block though - but not for NIMBY reasons. Many of the kids that would go to this school are currently zoned for and walk to Stoddert.

Unlike Foxhall, the Stoddert area has built about ~800 new apartments in the last ~7ish years (Glover House and a bunch of conversions). In Ward 3, the Stoddert area is one of the highest density catchment areas - it doesn't really have detached homes at all (there are technically 4). All the kids are close enough to walk to school. The only drivers are kids who lottery in/commit DC residency fraud (which admittedly is a non-trivial number).

The council has just decided to try to make Stoddert expand, rather than try to make all the parents drive to the 'suburbs/foxhall' for elementary schooling. They are slowly realizing that getting kids from census tracts with 20K people/sq mi (Glover Park) to 5K people/sq mi (Foxhall/Palisades) is really silly.

Basically building a school in a very low-density area isn't good urbanism. The school really only made sense if they upzoned the surrounding area to get to about 10K people/sq mi.

The central problem is the NIMBYism of the area.


superdookietoiletexp t1_iuipogf wrote

There is density along MacArthur Blvd., but the lack of a neighborhood elementary school and distance from other schools has driven parents away. The new schools will attract parents and change the character of the neighborhood, which is what has got the retirees so upset. None of us knows exactly how many elementary school age kids live in Foxhall, but there are probably more than enough to fall a small (300 student) school.


9throwawayDERP t1_iuj3jv4 wrote

bit of a chicken-egg thing, huh?

Density along mcarthur is 1/5 of that of wisconsin south of tenly circle. We do know how many school age children live in the Foxhall-ish area. IRS, as well as 2020 Census data know exactly. DC also has access to this.

I'm counting 399 using block group data as the average of the last 5-years between 5 and 10 years old. But since I'm lazy, I'm including a good chunk of the Wesley/Mann catchment and going pretty much all the way to Key ES and who can't really walk to it. This includes kids who go to privates, which are quite popular in the area. I'm betting you can't really get more than 250 students who can walk to it; even accounting for diversion from privates)

DC was planning a 500 student school there. Mechanically they cannot get enough students for that within walking range. I don't think the fixed cost of a 250 or even 300 student school is worth it for DC. If they build it, it will be to mostly bus/drive in students. I'm ok with that, but let us not kid ourselves into thinking there are tons and tons of elementary school kids there now.

Really, unless they completely upzone the area, you aren't going to get many more people and that includes kids.


superdookietoiletexp t1_iuj52m2 wrote

I agree that a ~500 student school is too big for right now. A ~300 student school would however relieve overcrowding at the other elementaries feeding Hardy and give the city the classroom space it needs to guarantee Pre-K via DCPS across the city (which would be a huge deal).

The area will inevitably densify as families move in to the area to access the new high school and so it’d make sense to build it large enough to add additional classrooms as necessary. LAB is only using 1/2 of the Old Hardy building as it is so hopefully the city to take back what they are not using and use that for the new school with an annex on the parking lot beside the building. Best case scenario is to overturn the lease extension but I can’t see how that would ever happen.