From 1933 to 1996, the Hardy School at 1550 Foxhall Road served the needs of public education. Starting in 1998, the building was leased on a temporary basis to a series of private schools, waiting for a day when demand for local public education would rebound.

That day has arrived. The three closest elementary schools – Key, Stoddert and Mann – are at capacity or significantly overcrowded today. Similar pressures exist across the entire Wilson High School feeder pattern, and those pressures are set to increase. The Deputy Mayor for Education's Master Facilities Plan recently projected additional student growth of at least 25% for every Ward 3 public middle and elementary school within the coming decade and a total deficit of 1,122 elementary school seats west of Rock Creek Park. A recent report of the Wilson Feeder Pattern Crowding Working Group identified no significant solution for addressing overcrowding other than returning the old Hardy School building to DCPS service.

Old Hardy is the only unutilized DCPS-owned building in the boundaries of the Wilson High School Feeder Pattern. The building sits on a 6-acre city-owned parcel with ample space for play and recreation. It is located along or near major transportation arteries and in an area dense with families but without an elementary school in walking distance.

The old Hardy School building is a fiscally responsible solution for relieving public education overcrowding in Ward 3. The current lease expires in 2023, and the time to plan for its reintroduction to DCPS is now.

Our schools are running out of space—in some cases they’ve already run out, with schools having to reduce pre-k offerings, out-of bounds spaces, and more.  While no one solution will totally solve the problem, the single, easiest, fiscally responsible way to start addressing it is to return Old Hardy to DCPS use. 

Ruth Wattenberg
DC State Board of Education, Ward 3