City officials and community leaders are beginning to discuss future plans for the site of Hine Junior High School, which is located near Eastern Market and is on D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty’s list of public schools to be closed at the end of this academic year.
Community groups appear united in their vision of how the Seventh Street and Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast site should be used. They hope for facilities with some public use, underground parking and a mix of retail, residential and office space.
Advisory neighborhood commission 6B and the Capitol Hill Restoration Society have passed resolutions to that effect.
“We see this as a three-sided site, and we’d like whatever gets put there to reflect that,” ANC Commissioner Ken Jarboe said. “We’d like retail on Seventh Street, residential on Eighth Street and commercial, with higher density, facing Pennsylvania Avenue.”
Jarboe added that he’d like an Eastern Market Metro entrance added to the north side of Pennsylvania Avenue.
The ANC resolution calls for a “community amenity” on the site.
One possibility is to move the Southeast Library from Seventh and E streets to the larger Hine site.
“It could also be something like two stories of parking underneath that would be opened up on evenings and weekends,” Jarboe said.
The CHRS resolution calls for the restoration of “the original L’Enfant Plan by reopening C Street” between Seventh and Eighth streets. That land currently houses the temporary Eastern Market building.
Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells (D) plans to begin meeting with community and business groups soon to discuss the site.
“What we don’t want to have is the school come up and say, ‘OK, we decided to put up a 10-story ‘x’ on this site,’ or just turn it into an office,” Jarboe said. “The community needs to be involved in determining what goes on that site.”
— Daniel Heim