Wilson High School's temporary campus worries some
Some parents of Wilson High School students are worried about their kids' new classrooms.
Wilson students will be attending classes in specially modified rooms at the University of the District of Columbia on Connecticut Avenue in Van Ness. But some parents and nearby business owners worry that it's a poor idea to add 1,500 students to an already crowded corridor.
Crews have been working around the clock to finish modifying Building 52 on the UDC campus to accommodate the Wilson students. Sources who have been in the building have concerns that it won't be ready by Monday, when school is set to begin.
The school has only two entrances, and one is reserved solely for ninth graders. There are three magnetometers (metal detectors) for the 1,500 students, with little room for students to wait in line.
Students will also have to eat lunch in their classrooms -- there is no lunchroom, and there are no lockers for belongings.
Parents have other concerns, including the school's proximity to busy Connecticut Avenue.
"I think kids being kids will try to cross in the middle of the street," said Letitia Long, a parent. "I parked down the street and came through the crosswalk and I was hoping students will use it. That's my biggest concern: traffic. "
D.C. police officers on Tuesday visited merchants surrounding the temporary campus, telling them what to do if they have problems with the students who will soon converge on their neighborhood.
Restaurant manager Michel Dumas hopes the students don't negatively impact his business.
"I just don't want rowdy students running through my patio when there's 50 people sitting out there," Dumas said.
The school's principal says the new facility will be ready on Monday. Peter Cahall said students are being given specific rules about their behavior.
"Students will understand that I'm not playing with them and if they can't be appropriate here they're not going to be a part of our community," he said. "I just cannot and will not tolerate it."
Security at the temporary campus will be improved, with 60 video cameras -- double the number at Wilson's normal campus.
Other concerns include traffic jams along Connecticut Avenue if parents stop to drop off their children during the morning rush hours. Seventy percent of students are expected to take Metro, adding crowds to the Van Ness Metro station.
The renovations at Wilson High School are expected to be completed by the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year, at a cost of $85 million.
RecommendedRecent Facebook Activity
Best of TBD In case you missed it
Here's a visual look at the eight most delicious, disgusting meals in the country.
TBD Blogs What you need to read
The Market Report
@TBD On Foot
Only On 7
Now you can get customized weather right down to your street! Plan your day and week ahead with ABC7's Interactive 7-day forecast!