Photo of 3500 R Street, NW by PoPville flickr user Jacques Arsenault
Office of the District of Columbia Auditor:
“The cost of a new Duke Ellington School for the Arts has grown from $71 million to $178 million without a comprehensive review by the D.C. Council on the location, other cost drivers, and all of the elements required for a performing arts high school, according to a new report by the D.C. Auditor.”
From ODCA’s executive summary (read the full report here):
“May 31, 2016
The Department of General Services Failed to Provide Information the DC Council Needed to Make Informed Decisions on the Scope and Cost of Modernizing the Duke Ellington School of the Arts
What ODCA Found:
The Department of General Services (DGS) and The District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) failed to provide timely information to policy makers so they could make informed decisions on the location and desired level of investment for a new performing arts high school.
DCPS did not finalize Educational Specifications for Duke Ellington School of the Arts before DGS proposed the project for inclusion in the FY 2012 District’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) adopted by the Council.
DGS based initial and subsequent cost estimates for Duke Ellington on significantly different projects that did not take into account the costs required for a performing arts school.
DCPS, DGS, and the Executive Office of the Mayor were not transparent while considering alternate sites for Duke Ellington—sites that might have cost less and/or better served the needs of the student population. (more…)