Notice of Special Meeting Dunbar Project

Special meeting, Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 at 7pm. Community Academy Public Charter School on P and First St NW.

5C01 Commissioner Bradley Thomas and Community Academy Public Charter School (CAPCS) are hosting a special community meeting to discuss the proposed curb cut at P and Fist St NW.  In attendance will be: Dunbar High School, CAPCS, ANC, DDOT, DC General Services Department and the Community.  

Situation: CAPCS has authorized constructions trucks for Dunbar High School to enter through the CAPCS entrance on First and O St NW. In exchange, CAPCS is requesting that the curb cut (driveway) at the 100 block of P St NW be enlarged from 12 feet to 20 feet in width.

Background: CAPCS (owned by the Mayor’s cousin), took ownership of Armstrong School Building at a price way below market value for the purpose of building  a charter school. Due to poor scholastic scores and low enrollment, CAPCS has sought other ways to increase revenue, including leasing the school auditorium to a church and any others that would pay to rent it. To provide parking for tenants, CAPCS graveled was used to be green space, leaving no green space for students to play on. The graveled area is used for parking, but is not a qualified parking lot.

Assessment: CAPCS is asking that the Dunbar Developer cover the costs of expanding the curb cut (driveway) or CAPCS may not provide construction trucks through its entrance on First and O St NW. CAPCS is rumored to potentially be losing its charter in 2012; this means that the building may need to be rented for purposes other than a school or potentially sold. A 20 foot curb cut paid through tax payer dollars would make the building more attractive as it would have 2 main entrances (on First and O St and P and First St NW). The proposed curb cut would increase traffic onto P St NW and reduce the number of residential parking on the 100 block of P St NW.  

Recommendation: Community does not wish to jeopardize or slow down the construction of the new Dunbar. The recommendation is that CAPCS utilize the entrance to CAPS by Dunbar High School (entrance on 3rd St NW and through the alley at the 100 block of P St NW) for traffic entrance and exits. The entrance on P St would remain for emergency vehicles and emergencies. This would allow for the traffic (already backed up on First St NW due to construction) not to be worsen by forcing additional traffic onto P St NW.

These are some photos of traffic on First St and P St NW on Friday, December 16th, 2011 at 8am.


3 thoughts on “Notice of Special Meeting Dunbar Project

  1. Commissioner Thomas, thank you for taking time to represent us well on this particular local issue. We all have key interest in both preserving the sanctity of P St. and the successful development of the Dunbar HS campus. I think your proposal is well crafted and I completely support the direction you have indicated above. I am concerned about the poor manner in which the CAPCS is performing and it is not appropriate to “multi-purpose” the facility at the expense of the charter school. Finally I look forward to hearing about the detailed implementation plans for the new Dunbar HS (opening O St. from 3rd-1st, the new buildings and community access to them, the demolition of the existing school and the new field areas and the timing of all of the above). I know you always do a thorough job of documenting information, so if there is an opportunity, I would love to hear details of the project as we’re very excited for it.



  2. Thanks Greg. Unfortunately, my effort to pull together a meeting this week turned out to be a little overly ambitious. Since schools are now closed for the annual Winter Break (or Christmas vacation, if you prefer), I was not able to bring all of the players together on such short notice. I will set up a meeting in January to address these issues. Meanwhile, enjoy the holidays and stay safe.

Question, comment, or suggestion?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s