Friday, January 28, 2011

YouthBuild/LAYC canvassing the JF Cook School neighborhood this weekend

See this 01/28/2011 message from Bloomingdale resident Angie Rodgers:

YouthBuild/LAYC Canvassing the Cook Neighborhood This Weekend

YouthBuild and LAYC stakeholders will be out in the neighborhood surrounding the Cook School this weekend to continue the dialogue with neighbors about the proposed redevelopment. We continue to hear concerns about how the proposed project may jeopardize public safety in an area that already has challenging safety concerns, how the project may not add needed momentum to economic development efforts, and how the scale of 47 additional young residents may overwhelm that block.

Of course, we think the project has some merit as is to counter these concerns in that it reclaims a vacant building that takes up half of a city block and turns it into an attractive development that will bring foot traffic/eyes on the street and 24-hour security. We`ve continued to meet with civic leaders, however, to put ideas on the table to address the breadth of concerns.

For example, what if LAYC offered some of the apartment units to families instead of youth? What if a community advisory board was set up to monitor the development? What if YouthBuild/LAYC worked to set up a public safety fund that could be used for things like re-doing the pocket park at Florida and North Capitol?

We want to know what you think about these ideas and others, and we want to hear your ideas as well. We will be out this Saturday morning to afternoon going door to door, and we hope to see you in the neighborhood!

-- Angie Rodgers


  1. Hi! Great entry. I work for city council and I am compiling a list of blogs. Is there an email available to add to our press list? Thanks!

  2. I would love for a charter school to go in that building. I am, however, against anytime of housing aspect to the project.

    These aren't children. They are all over 18 correct? So I would consider the orignal plan as family units already.

    What if a community advisory board was set up to monitor the development? - I would expect this for any type of development of this size.

    Feel free to come by 86 O #1 I would be happy to discuss further.

    I'd also like to know why YouthBuild isn't considering the other neighborhood that wants this project.

  3. I have a much better suggestion.

    I’ve been in contact with the Board of Trustees of this school:

    And this neighborhood is on their short list of targets for their permanent facility.

    It’s a Spanish immersion program with a green, sustainable earth focus. They’ll be opening with a pre-school, pre-K, and Kindergarten, and growing through elementary. It’s also an Expeditionary Learning program, which has proven so successful here (Capital City and Two Rivers both use Expeditionary Learning and have great reputations and strong test scores). Instead of Section 8 housing, they could perhaps use additional space for an organic garden to serve as an outdoor classroom. They will open in an “incubation space” in Dupont Circle in the fall of 2011 and are looking for a permanent home for the fall of 2012.

    I’ve been in touch with Stu Davenport, and he has offered the Big Bear for an information session presentation by the school. If you would be interested in this school as a neighbor, please feel free to let me know ( This is an opportunity worth keeping in mind as we hear more from what LAYC intends to bring to our neighborhood.