JF Cook slated to close again

Originally uploaded by In Shaw

Bloomingdale (for now) has a nice little map of the schools slated to close. One of them is Cook in the TC on P Street. Now jog my memory wasn’t Cook in danger a few years back of closing because of low enrollment, but was saved?
If the Cook school closes the thing that worries me (since I don’t have kids) is that this will be another DC owned hulk of property that will slowly deteriorate with disuse. The building seems quite fine, but there is a sad looking Langston school building across the street, that needs something before it is too far gone, and the slightly not so bad Slater. Armstrong down the street is in the process of getting fixed, but it has been in the process of getting renovated for years.
Having it remain as a functional school does one thing that I can think of that benefits the neighborhood and that is to keep it from being a nuisance property. There are a ton of other uses the building could serve but knowing how slowly DC government acts on things and occasionally picks things that draw a long torturous fight (social services functions), history isn’t on the side of anything good coming from a closing.

9 thoughts on “JF Cook slated to close again”

  1. The DC school buildings are beautiful structures. It is indeed too bad most of them sit and wait for a ‘boom’ and then are unavailable for anything other than high-priced condos.

  2. Well with the price of rehabbing a building from a point when it wasn’t that great to begin with (current school facilities aren’t that great), and maybe add any costs that go with negotiations (yay Lawyers!) with community groups, govt agencies, and possible historic preservation stuff, you’ve gone beyond a simple affordable housing project.

  3. Here is a quote from “Tommy” Thomas:

    “The proposal was met with mixed reactions from councilmembers like
    Harry Thomas who were upset they were not consulted. Thomas says it
    harkens back to the days of “separate but equal.”

    I’m looking forward to not voting for him. Again.

  4. i dunno. look at the old schoolhouse on cap hill that they turned into a results gym.

    worked out well for them.

    don’t you guys want something like a gym in your hood? or…. goodness, there’s a whole lot of stuff that could make sense.

    but i agree with mari. you need to look at the project and the potential return.

    i wonder what kind of innovative/lucrative ideas there might be for some of the ‘school shells’ that will exist once the schools are closed. they don’t all have to be turned into housing…

  5. The gym and some of the rentals/condos were done before Congress made a law that said charter schools gets first dibs at the buildings. I think that the law requires that the city sell them at a below market costs too. Since then, most of the schools have been snapped up pretty quickly. So don’t worry, no condos, no gym … I must say, the charter school (Options) in my neighborhood was able to renovate the building quickly, and have maintained the building and grounds well.


  6. Well the charter school body working on the Armstrong has been taking 4-evah. It’s been more than a couple of years since it first started working on the school, with stops and starts and it is still not open.
    Add that to a crumbling Langston, a crappy looking Slater (both literally, seriously directly across the street from Cook), and I have little reason to be optimistic about what will happen. It’s great that other former school buildings in other neighborhood have found new life, super. But this is the TC, with our dynamics and until Armstrong is open and operating, and Langston is months away from being fixed up and ready for business, all evidence points to ‘nothing good’ if Cook is closed and left empty.

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