Mayor Bowser announces summer school improvement projects

Sophie Ludgin and Max Karp

DCPS will implement structural repairs at 21 DCPS schools over the summer,  announced Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn in a letter to DCPS families on January 25. At Wilson, the turf field will be replaced and metal detectors will be updated, among other projects.

DCPS Central Office is allocating $73.9 million to a total of 27 projects to be completed by the end of the 2020-2021 school year. The projects address a wide array of concerns in schools across all eight wards, including water intrusion issues, roof damages, and the maintenance of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units. Among the planned projects are two recreation centers in Ward 7 and one park in Ward 8.

Wilson has the most scheduled repairs of any school, which include roofs, general projects, and athletic space.

“We haven’t had any renovations done to the school since it was totally renovated in 2010, so we need [repairs],” said Director of Strategy and Logistics Brandon Hall. Hall added that these improvements will look to combat some of Wilson’s most prevalent and disruptive issues, such as flooding and leaking problems.

The turf replacement is exceptionally important because problems with the field have resulted in canceled practices for athletic teams.

When the turf is replaced, the drainage system under the field will also be improved. “Site drainage issues have contributed to the water infiltration problems at the school, according to DC Mayor of Education Communications Director Jack Pfeiffer.

Pfeiffer added that the flooding Wilson is currently facing will be repaired through restorations of a section of the slate roof that is currently contributing to the water infiltration issue.