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Public forums continue on school closings
(Published April 3, 2006)

D.C. public school officials have scheduled a series of public forums that focus on plans for closing, consolidating or modernizing the school system's 16.2 million square feet of building space.

The meetings, to be conducted by the D.C. Public Schools Office of Facilities Management, are intended to gather comments from the community to help Superintendent Clifford Janey draft his proposed revision of the school system's Facilities Master Plan. The superintendent's recommendations are due to be submitted to the D.C. Board of Education in May.

The school board voted earlier this month to eliminate one million square feet of excess facility space before the start of the 2006-2007 school year this fall. The action is intended to reduce the system's facilities costs, as well as meet demands of D.C. City Council members for more efficient management of school buildings as the public schools continue to lose enrollment to charter schools.

Among issues to be addressed by school officials at the public meetings, according to school officials, are enrollment trends and projections, facility conditions, consolidation program objectives and possible alternative uses for schools that are closed.

The first two public forums were held March 29 at McKinley Technology High School and March 30 at Kelly Miller Middle School. Four more forums are scheduled, all to begin at 6 p.m.:

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