If elected, a particular focus of my time on City Council will be the successful redevelopment of the Calvert Road School site. This property, which is owned by the City of College Park and once housed a public elementary school until the 1970s, has been left mostly vacant for nearly a decade, and is in the process of slowly decomposing.
This is unacceptable.
The school was the neighborhood school for four decades, and several generations of residents have fond memories of going to classes, community events, and even teaching in the building.
The Calvert Road School site must be redeveloped, and it must occur soon.
Although there has been substantial debate about possible uses of the site, I strongly support the idea of a jointly-developed City-UMD child development center in the lower level of the old school. This center would have slots available for young children with parents who are affiliated with the university, but also a number of slots available for College Park families irrespective of university affiliation. The upper level of the school would be best used as a community space for residents of College Park to hold meetings, art exhibitions, and performances. This particular use would meet two strong needs: the need (and undersupply) for high-quality child care in the City of College Park; and the diminishing availability of community space for community groups in the City.
Critically, the Calvert Road School site must remain a city facility. It was "sold" to the City of College Park by Prince Georges County under the condition that it continue to serve a public use. Keeping it in the hands of the City is the best way to assure that this asset (and the playground and park that surround it) remain available to serve the needs of our residents.