The eight-acre campus of Marjorie Webster Junior College on Kalmia Road NW has been given by act of Congress to Gallaudet College, a liberal arts institution for the deaf, despite the efforts of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4A chairman Harry T. Jones to defeat the bill.
"We were denied due process," said Jones. "There was no public hearing on the bill." A spokesman for Sen. Robert Packwood (R-Oregon), who introduced the amendment, said the transfer of the property to Gallaudet would save the federal government about $30 million because Gallaudet, which is federally supported, would otherwise have to build a new facility.
According to LaVarne Hines, community relations officer for Gallaudet, the entering class in 1983 is expected to double to accommodate deaf students born in 1964-65 during a rubella epidemic. According to Hines, Gallaudet held meetings during September and October with various community groups in the Marjorie Webster area, including the Shepherd Park Citizens Association, Neighbors Inc. and the ANC. Hines said the college plans to work closely with community groups and individuals during renovation of the property, which is scheduled for completion by the fall of 1983.
The ANC, which wanted the property to become residential, was in the process of meeting with prospective buyers when an amendment transferring the property to Gallaudet was added to a funding bill for the U.S. Fire Administration, which owned the campus.
Traffic problems on 16th Street NW will be the focus of an ANC meeting at 7:30 tonight at the 4th District police headquarters, Georgia Avenue and Peabody Street NW. At a previous meeting, D.C. Department of Transportation official Howard Simkowitz told the community that the department's goals are "to slow down traffic on the entire length of 16th Street and make pedestrian crossing safer."
Proposals include an automatic walk phase for the light at 16th Street and Kalmia Road NW and a new light at 16th and Montague streets NW. DOT is also counting vehicles using 16th Street, in response to petitions protesting the heavy volume of traffic. Residents also have complained of vibrations caused by this traffic, a problem expected to be alleviated after the street is reconstructed beginning next spring.
The ANC also will discuss the city's public space project, under which civic groups are being asked to "adopt" and care for small public parks. There are nine such parks in the ANC area.