I was lucky enough to get a tour of the facility from Director of Marketing and Development, Julie Green. While it may look a little imposing from the outside the inside is truly extraordinary. As many know the school is located at 3600 Georgia Ave. on the corner of Georgia Ave. and Otis Place, NW. The building has 46,000 square feet on six floors and will eventually host 468 students from pre-K through 8th grade. The school is named after Dr. Euphemia Lofton Haynes, “the first African-American woman to receive a doctorate in mathematics, a teacher in the DC school system for 47 years, and the first woman to serve as President of the DC Board of Education”.
The school, currently located above the CVS at 14th and Irving in Columbia Heights will move to its new location in June. Currently the Haynes school has 300 students from pre-K to 5th grade. 60% of the students are from Ward 1 and the remaining 40% are from all over the city. They chose this location because the school partnered with a group called Building Hope which is a charter school facilities fund, with funding provided by Sallie Mae. And as Ms. Green explained it “the location chose us”. Green explained that Columbia Heights real estate prices were no longer realistic and the school wanted to stay relatively close to Columbia Heights and near a metro so that they wouldn’t lose their current families.
I asked Green the million dollar question: How do they plan on dealing with being situated between a strip club and a liquor store? She replied that the school always keeps children’s safety as the number one priority. She continued, “we’ve faced issues being in Columbia Heights and we are experienced with complicated situations and we will continue to be diligent about student safety and security.” Furthermore, she told me that the school had been in touch with the owners of the liquor store and will be in touch with the owners of the strip club in order to build a good relationship. The number one concern about the strip club is the explicit fliers that sometimes people find on their cars. Green assured me that the school will work with the club to ensure the students don’t encounter these fliers near the school. Green concluded, “at the end of the day we hope that we prepare the kids to make good choices. Being in a big city there will always be challenges. We are thrilled to be here and we’ve been warmly welcomed by our neighbors who have been loving, patient and generous.”
Green hopes that in the future the school will partner with the community in a variety of ways. Some possibilities she mentioned include providing meeting spaces and organizing youth basketball leagues at the school. The bottom line is that the school strongly wants to be partner and be a part of the community at large. Lots of photos after the jump.
Nice Big Windows in the Lobby
They Have A Cool Spiral Staircase
And a Beautiful View to Boot