March 24, 2013

Regarding the March 17 editorial “Giving a cold shoulder to success”:

The proposed redevelopment of Randall Recreation Center by KIPP DC threatens to remove the community’s free and unfettered use of the largest comprehensive public park in Southwest Washington. Neighborhood children would not substantially benefit because students from KIPP’s feeder schools would be given first preference for admission, save a handful of lottery options for which Southwest children would have to compete. The majority of our children would still need to attend high schools in other neighborhoods.

D.C. officials are being prudent and thoughtful about the long-term effects of such a proposal.

I and the other members of the Capitol Park IV Condominium Association board want to be very clear: We support the long-term, comprehensive Small Area Impact Plan resolution unanimously adopted by our Advisory Neighbhorhood Commission earlier this year. We are not anti-KIPP DC. We are simply advocating for the exhaustion of other land options for the school, including reusing recently closed D.C. public school buildings and private lands.

These and many other issues should first be addressed before any private development should occur on our public lands. Public parks are just too important for a rushed decision that favors private developers.

Felicia Couts, Washington

The writer is president of the Capitol Park IV Condominium Association board.