FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 11, 2013
(Washington D.C.) - The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME) and the Department of General Services (DGS) today awarded the J.F. Cook School at 30 P Street NW to Mundo Verde Public Charter School. Mundo Verde is the District’s first public charter school (PCS) focused on environmental stewardship issues.
“Mundo Verde Public Charter School provides a unique program and experience for students, and I am excited to provide this institution with a permanent home at the former J.F. Cook School,” said Mayor Vincent C. Gray. “Mundo Verde promises to provide an opportunity for more students, including our 3- and 4-year olds, to get a high-quality education in the District of Columbia, and it also ties in directly with our Sustainable DC goal of becoming the greenest, healthiest, most livable city in the United States.”
Mayor Gray continued: “This is also another example of the great strides my administration has made in making surplus buildings available to public charter schools. I look forward to watching Mundo Verde and its students reach new heights in their new home.”
Mundo Verde, founded in 2011, currently serves students in pre-K to first grade and plans to grow to fifth grade by 2016. The school’s program is an inquiry-based, dual-language immersion curriculum organized around interdisciplinary projects or expeditions. The faculty and program incorporate environmental sustainability and community service throughout the curriculum.
“In a short amount of time, Mundo Verde has shown itself to be a very capable school with strong demand for its program,” said Jennifer Leonard, Interim Deputy Mayor for Education. “We are encouraged and excited to provide Mundo Verde with a permanent home to grow and deliver more opportunities for high-quality teaching and learning. We are also excited to reactivate another surplus school building with a high-quality public charter school.”
School leaders plan to complete a full renovation of the J.F. Cook School building in time to open in August, 2014. In addition to rehabilitating the building’s interior and replacing the building’s mechanical systems, the surrounding grounds of the building will receive a new playground, a rain garden with indigenous plants, and a safe play area for students. Mundo Verde also proposes to use sustainable materials and building practices and will seek LEED certification.
“Mundo Verde Bilingual PCS is thrilled to be offered the opportunity to renovate the J.F. Cook School for its educational program focused on nurturing the next generation of global stewards,” said Kristen Scotchmer, Mundo Verde’s Executive Director. “We look forward to working with the city and neighborhood to further a collective vision for a more sustainable and more equitable D.C.”
DGS released a Request for Offers (RFO) for two surplus school buildings in September 2012. The buildings were the former J.F. Cook building and the Young School building, which is located at 820 26th Street NE. DGS held public hearings on each of the buildings prior to releasing the solicitation. Mundo Verde was selected from two schools that submitted proposals to renovate and reuse J.F. Cook. No proposals were received for the Young School.