(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the District will award the site of the former Ferebee-Hope School, located at 3999 8th Street, SE, to KIPP DC to construct a new high school and District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR)-managed recreation center. The awarding of the former DC Public Schools facility was made after a thorough evaluation process. KIPP DC was the only charter Local Education Agency (LEA) to submit a proposal in response to the Request for Offers (RFO) that was released by the District on August 29, 2019.
“We already know that KIPP DC provides high-quality academic and extracurricular experiences to students of all ages throughout DC. With this new location, they are bringing those opportunities to more high school students and their families, right here in Ward 8,” said Mayor Bowser. “The new recreation center, which will be open to the public, demonstrates how we can work together to ensure these projects benefit the entire community.”
The former Ferebee-Hope School has been vacant for six years and is no longer needed for DC Government agency operational purposes. The Bowser Administration released the RFO for the vacant Ferebee-Hope School that provided charter schools “right of first offer” for the excess DCPS facility. The RFO process included two community meetings where the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education and the Department of General Services (DGS) solicited feedback and ideas from residents regarding the reactivation of the site, as well as a third community engagement at which KIPP DC presented their offer to residents.
“KIPP DC is one of the District’s most established LEAs and serves over 6,000 public school students. Their schools perform well on all of our performance metrics and their current high school in Ward 5 is a Tier 1 school,” said Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn. “In addition to offering demonstrated academic outcomes for students, KIPP DC has entered into partnerships to bring mental health services, job training programs and youth mentorship to the Ferebee-Hope site to serve the Ward 8 community. This is another example of the District working together as one—public schools, the community and the District government—for the benefit of all residents. I am confident this new school will help our students be ready for school, ready to learn and ready for career.”
KIPP DC plans to construct a new high school building at the site that will serve more than 800 students in grades 9-12. The new high school will provide college and career preparatory programming, as well as extracurricular activities including music, arts, and athletics. KIPP DC’s opening of their second high school will also shorten the distance many KIPP DC students travel to school and is expected to increase student safety and attendance. KIPP DC will also construct a new 20,000 square foot recreation center, a 4,000 square foot community center, and playing fields that will be managed by DPR and be available to all DC residents. The facility will include an indoor pool, boxing ring, and full-size gymnasium.
“District Government will retain ownership of the underlying land and the next step in this exciting process will be the start of lease negotiations between DGS and KIPP DC,” said DGS Director Keith Anderson. “KIPP DC has extensive experience in constructing new school buildings in the District. This project will bring many construction jobs to Ward 8. We look forward to another successful partnership, a strong school and a great new recreation center for our residents.”
KIPP DC has partnered with MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Department of Psychiatry to provide innovative mental health clinics serving all residents of the community; Training Grounds to provide a job training program that emphasizes personal and professional development while connecting participants to living-wage career opportunities; and the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, which will continue its presence at Ferebee-Hope to provide mentoring services and athletic opportunities to community youth. KIPP DC will also operate its KIPP Codes program at the site, which provides free adult computer coding classes aimed at providing families with exposure to the skills necessary to enter the tech workforce.
“KIPP DC and it's 6,800 families are grateful to Mayor Bowser and her administration for awarding Ferebee-Hope to KIPP for reuse,” said Jacque Patterson, KIPP DC’s Chief Community Engagement and Growth Officer. “In partnership with the community, we’re excited to create a hub of educational excellence, wellness, and lifelong learning. The new recreation center and state-of-the-art high school will help Washington Highlands and future students thrive. This is a win for the entire District, especially the future leaders growing up in Ward 8 today!”