JF Cook School Community Meeting Notes -Oct 13

These notes are from Sylvia Pinkney, ANC5c02 Commissioner:

  • The meeting convened on the school playground.
  • The Latin American Youth Center/YouthBuild Public Charter School
    (LAYC/YBPCS) representatives provided an excellent project update.
  • The organization has not signed a lease for the site.
  • If approved, the building will be leased by the city to
    YouthBuild Public Charter School, who will then sub-lease the top
    two floors to the Latin American Youth Center for residential units.
  • The project will result in LAYC/YBPCS doubling their current
    staff. It’s the largest project they’ve ever attempted.
  • The communities request not to include the residential portion of
    the project in the final plans was ignored. Education and
    vocational training are proposed for the 1st floor and residential
    units on the 2nd and 3rd floors.
  • When questioned concerning the significance of community support,
    the Assistant Principal and Special Education Coordinator, Rebecca
    Paavola stated that community support would be nice, but it wasn’t
    necessary. The Administration wants the project to move forward.
  • Several YouthBuild students discussed the significant, positive
    changes the program made in their lives.
  • Victoria Leonard revisited the community support question and
    informed the community that emergency legislation was passed by the
    City Council to extend disposition of the John F. Cook Elementary
    School by 90 days so the LAYC/YouthBuild Public Charter School
    could address community concerns. A lease cannot be signed until
    legislation is passed disposing of the school as a surplus
    property. Ms. Leonard suggested that we contact the office of
    Chairman Gray, Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr. and At-Large
    Councilman Kwame Brown by e-mail or telephone to convey support or
    opposition to the project.
  • Commissioner Gigi Ransom requested the cost of the development
    project and information on additional sites considered for the
    charter school. The project cost is $15 million and no other sites
    were considered. Commissioner Ransom suggested that the
    organization consider the former Jos-Arz Public Charter School
    building, located at 220 Taylor Street, N.E. The building design
    includes residential units and classrooms and appears to encompass
    twice the square footage of the John F. Cook Elementary School.
    Visit the Jos-Arz Public Charter School website.
  • http://www.220taylorstreetne.com/index.html.
  • * Commissioner Ransom informed the LAYC/YBPCS representatives that if
    they were interested in the Jos-Arz PCS building in her Single Member
    District ANC 5C12, there would be no community opposition. The
    building has been vacant for several years and it previously housed a
    public charter school.
  • Sylvia M. Pinkney
    Commissioner ANC 5C02

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