Make plans now to attend the HSA meeting on Tuesday, February 10 at 7:00 pm. Newly-appointed Deputy Mayor for Education Jennifer Niles will be speaking to parents about the new Mayor’s plans for the Murch modernization project. The HSA will provide babysitting for Murch-age children.
Meanwhile, planning for the renovation is moving forward. Proposals for Design and Engineering work on the project are due to the Department of General Services (DGS) today, January 23, and a design firm should be selected by mid-March. The design contract calls for construction to begin in June 2016 and the work is expected to take 18 to 24 months.
Even as planning begins, the project is not yet fully funded. We have, however, begun to see signs of strong support from several important sources. The outreach from the Murch community last Spring made a difference and DC officials are much more informed and committed to meeting the need at Murch. Councilmember Mary Cheh met with the Murch SIT in December and helped ensure that DGS moved forward with hiring a design firm. Cheh and her staff are actively working to ensure that sufficient funding for the project is secured in this year’s budget process. At a meeting attended by the HSA last week, Councilmember David Grosso (At-Large), the newly appointed chair of the DC Council’s Education Committee, indicated that he wants the committee to prioritize modernizations at elementary schools, and especially those that are full. He stated that “logic, not politics” should dictate priorities, but that in the past, “that was not always the case.” Grosso toured Murch last year and has been very supportive of moving the project forward.
The HSA will be posting weekly updates on the renovation, our outreach, and ways that the community can help move the modernization forward.