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Kwame Brown and Cheh Team Up For Tenley

Council members Kwame R. Brown (D-At Large) and Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) issued a joint press release today that voices their opposition to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's plan for a mixed-use development for the site that includes Janney Elementary School and the former Tenley-Friendship Library.

They also sent a letter of opposition to the mayor. According to the letter, they want the mayor to "permit the Tenley Library to be built now and separate it from any possibly mixed-use, or public/private development on the site."

Fenty's proposal and the pick of the LCOR development firm drew heckles from a crowd during his announcement in July. The library system already had $1 million for its own design.

Brown and Cheh say in the letter that their decision is based on the views of the community.

Under the city/LCOR partnership, 130 housing units would be built over a new library while parking for the library, school and residences would be underground.

"...we believe that it is fatally flawed; we cannot and will not support it," the council members wrote.

By Nikita R Stewart  |  October 29, 2008; 12:01 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. Council  
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A couple of corrections:

The LCOR project is (and always has been) for 174 units.

And DCPL's reconstruction of the Tenley-Friendship branch has been fully funded throughout this process. $1 million is what DCPL had already spent on demolition, design work, cost estimations, project approvals, etc. when Fenty halted work on the standalone library rebuild in July. It is not the full budget available for the project.

The public-private partnership Fenty has championed would delay the reconstruction of our library until at least 2013 (vs. DCPL's completion date of 2010) and deprive Janney Elementary of campus land needed for classroom and athletic facilities.

I'm delighted to see these Council Members come out in opposition to the deal. Let's hope Fenty pulls the plug on the project and stops delaying our library and wasting our tax dollars pursuing a public land deal that is clearly going nowhere without Council approval.

Posted by: smithhemb | October 30, 2008 5:27 AM | Report abuse

It is nice to see that Councilmember Cheh has finally concluded that the proposed public-private partnership is the wrong choice for this site -- in line with what her constituents have been advocating for many months. Let's get our library built right away, please! Let's also work to get Janney's modernization moved up in the queue.

Posted by: UndecidedVoter | October 30, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

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