(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) Mayor Muriel Bowser declined last night to support major renovations to some Capitol Hill-area schools in the coming year, despite residents’ complaints.
Bowser said the District doesn’t have enough money for significant updates to Eliot-Hine Middle School, School-Within-School and other Ward 6 schools in fiscal 2016. Under the mayor’s budget proposal released last week, extensive upgrades to Eliot-Hine and School-Within-School were slated to be put off until fiscal 2019.
Speaking at an ANC 6A meeting, Bowser said she had to make “tough decisions” that won’t make everybody happy.
“I want to be able to invest in all of the schools, renovate [and] totally transform all of them,” Bowser said. “But we can’t do them all at once.”
The schools need functioning heating and cooling systems, repaired bathrooms and other improvements, locals say.
Joe Weedon, Ward 6′s representative to the D.C. State Board of Education, said at the meeting that his elementary school-age daughter visited Eliot-Hine and wouldn’t use the restroom there, where some stalls don’t have doors.
“There’s something wrong when the facilities’ [repairs] have been pushed back, pushed back, pushed back,” Weedon said.
Eliot-Hine would receive $34.1 million for renovations in fiscal 2019 and 2020 under the mayor’s plan. Nearly 300 students attended the school at 1830 Constitution Ave. NE in the 2013-2014 school year.
As for School-Within-School, Bowser has requested $11.9 million to modernize the school in fiscal 2019. The school at 920 F St. NE had about 200 students in the 2013-2014 school year.
Bowser said the District will fix the bathrooms at Eliot-Hine, but didn’t say when.
“I don’t want the conversation to be trade-offs between schools, because they’re all priorities,” she said.
Photo via Twitter/Heather Schoell