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The U Street Neighborhood Association will be having their monthly meeting at 1516 U Street (thanks Brink for hosting us) June 12th 7 pm. We will be discussing the film series at Harrison Recreation Center and other neighborhood issues.

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Meridian Public Charter School recently announced the details of their renovation plans for the Harrison School building on the 2100 block of 13th Street, NW, at the intersection of 13th & V Streets, NW.  Construction work for the renovation project began the week of October 31, 2011.

The renovation of the school building will add 12,000 square feet to the building's existing 49,000 square foot footpring at a cost of $15.5 million.  Primary funding for Meridian's new home was provided through TRF's Chase New Markets Tax Credit Charter School Fund, created in partnership with The Reinvestment Fund (TRF) and Chase.

Meridian PCS signed a fifty-year lease with the District of Columbia earlier this year, and construction began this week at 13th and V Streets, N.W. for completion in August of 2012.  In addition to its premier financing partners, Meridian has worked with Building Hope to assemble a top team: Forrester Construction, Bowie Gridley Architects, and Brailsford & Dunlavey.

The complete text of the press release is available after the Read More... link.

MERIDIAN PUBLIC CHARTER REVITALIZES SCHOOL IN D.C.’S U STREET NEIGHBORHOOD

(Washington, D.C., October 28, 2011) -- The historic Harrison School building has become the next development in Washington, D.C.’s dynamic U Street neighborhood. A $15.5 million renovation adds 12,000 square feet to the existing 49,000 square foot structure to serve hundreds of families and 530 children from early childhood through eighth grade at Meridian Public Charter School.

Meridian Chairman Ron Ridker explained the school’s commitment to the U Street area. “The Manhattan Laundry building has served us very well since our inception twelve years ago. We could have found a good permanent home for Meridian in other parts of the city, but waited until an appropriate building close to our current location came along, so we could continue serving the
community we grew up with. The Manhattan Laundry space will soon be available for other uses.”

Primary funding for Meridian’s new home was provided through TRF’s Chase New Markets Tax Credit Charter School Fund, created in partnership with The Reinvestment Fund (TRF) and Chase. A fifty-year lease signed with the District of Columbia, construction began this week at 13th and V Streets, N.W. for completion in August of 2012.

In addition to its premier financing partners, Meridian has worked with Building Hope to assemble a top team: Forrester Construction, Bowie Gridley Architects, and Brailsford & Dunlavey. Building Hope’s President S. Joseph Bruno said, “Building Hope is pleased to have helped Meridian assemble this team and provide the project management to make the Harrison building renovation and addition a success.”

Project partners have expressed their strong satisfaction. “Forrester is thrilled to have reached successful conclusion of our pre-construction services and to be moving into the construction phase of the Meridian Public Charter School project. We look forward to helping enrich the mission of Meridian and providing a facility that will meet the needs and high standards of this great school,” said D. Scott Forrester, Principal, Forrester Construction Company.

“Nothing anchors a community like a school,” said Chris Dunlavey, President, Brailsford & Dunlavey.

“Chase created this fund last year to help charter schools across the country continue to expand access to academic opportunities for students during these difficult economic times,” said Dudley Benoit, Senior Vice President of Chase Community Development Banking.

“The Chase Fund has allowed TRF to provide the school with long-term equity that will serve it well for many graduating classes to come,” explained Sara Vernon Sterman, Executive Vice President for Community Investments and Capital Markets at TRF.

For more information, contact:
Ronald Ridker, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Meridian PCS, (202) 667-7110, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Christopher Stiles Siddall, Chairman and President, Meridian-Harrison Qualified Active Low-Income Community Business, (202) 607-6442, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About the Meridian Public Charter School Team:
Founded in 1981, Bowie Gridley Architects specializes in work for institutions of community significance—schools, performing arts centers, libraries, athletic and recreational facilities, museums, and cultural centers. The architecture, planning, and interior design firm is based in historic Georgetown and works with independent schools throughout the U.S. and overseas.

Brailsford & Dunlavely (B&D) is a nationally recognized program management firm that provides planning through implementation services and is dedicated to serving educational institutions,
municipalities, public agencies, and non-profit clients. With a focus on PreK-12 education, B&D has served as the program manager on over 25 charter schools and large school districts, including DC public schools and Detroit public schools. This work has enriched communities with over $8 billion in completed facilities. B&D is currently serving, along with Building Hope, as Meridian Public Charter School’s owner’s representative for this Meridian project. Their role includes managing the design and construction contracts, generating and tracking the project budget and schedule, and ensuring that the school can make well-informed and timely decisions.

Building Hope is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting high quality public charter schools by providing technical and financial assistance for educational facilities. The organization also supports the expansion of academically successful schools with the capacity to grow their enrollments in order to promote change across their local public education systems. Building Hope advocates school-centered community revitalization and believes that excellent charter school programs and facilities serve as a catalyst for places where children will thrive.

Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.3 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries.

Established in 1988, Forrester Construction Company has become a “Top 5” locally owned general contractor in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Forrester has successfully performed in excess of 2,000 projects with 84% as repeat clients. Forrester is the proud recipient of over 80 industry quality awards over the last five years.

TRF is a national leader in rebuilding America’s distressed towns and cities through the innovative use of capital and information. TRF has invested over $1 billion in Mid-Atlantic communities since 1985. A Community Development Financial Institution, TRF has financed $230 million in support of 70 charter schools that together serve over 33,000 students.

About Meridian Public Charter School:
Meridian is a co-educational elementary and middle school combined. We enroll students starting at the Early Childhood level (3 years old) to the 8th grade level. We instill within our students a passion for learning and to build self-confidence and self-respect through academic achievement. It is our goal to ensure each student achieves the highest possible level in Reading and Mathematics. The love of learning and the foundation of knowledge and skills that our students acquire will serve them throughout their lifetime!