WASHINGTON — Parents and residents in the heart of D.C. are continuing their fight for a new middle school.
In October, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Benjamin Banneker Academic High School would relocate into a new building at the site of the old Shaw Junior High School, along Rhode Island Avenue, by 2021.
For close to a decade, parents in both the Shaw and Logan Circle neighborhoods have eyed the old Shaw Junior High School site as the possible location of a future middle school.
Currently, there is no middle school dedicated specifically to that community.
On Wednesday night, ANC 2F held a meeting to discuss the issue with D.C. Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn.
He told the audience that the mayor still intends to build a new high school at the junior high site.
"We think, as a high school, it contributes to our desire to close the achievement gap," Kihn said.
The answer disappointed many people who attended the meeting. Some locals questioned why Banneker High School could not be renovated where it currently stands, while others questioned whether the DCPS had any other potential sites in mind for a Shaw-specific middle school.
"There's something that smells about this whole thing with Banneker," said ANC Commissioner Alexander Padro.
Kihn then said there was nothing "nefarious" about how the city and DCPS was handling its school plan.
City Councilmember Jack Evans attended the meeting. He supports the construction of a new Shaw middle school.
He also said some members of the council are uncomfortable with how quickly the Banneker project is moving.
"You really think when the budget comes in March that we're going to fund a big Banneker school at Shaw? Do you really think that's going to happen?" he asked. "That what's I said to the mayor yesterday. That's just not going to happen."