With a handful of D.C. public schools slated for an overhaul in the near-ish future (though the school system's facilities master plan is still very rough at this point), I've been thinking about how Seaton Elementary, Shaw Middle School, their associated athletic fields and parks, and surrounding roadways could be reconfigured to better compliment the neighborhood. Below is my take on it.
1. The area's street grid is interrupted by the athletic fields adjacent to Shaw Middle School. As a result, there is a lack of connectivity both east and west and north and south, as Q Street essentially dead ends at Rhode Island Avenue and the 1600 block of 10th Street is non-existent.
2. Shaw Middle School is unattractive and dated in appearance. The building sits back from Rhode Island Avenue and does not contribute much of a presence to the urban streetscape. It has a large, dated-looking concrete terrace along Rhode Island Avenue.
3. Seaton Elementary School is also dated looking, uninviting and unattractive. The building sits slightly askew to Rhode Island Avenue and does not contribute much of a presence to the urban streetscape. It has a large, purpose-less concrete terrace in front and a small, fenced off lawn.
4. The athletic fields at Shaw Middle School and Seaton Elementary, though well utilized, are not very inviting or attractive.
My Proposed Solutions
1. Reconstruct Q and 10th Streets through the athletic fields of Shaw Middle School.
2. Reconstruct the athletic facilities, including the skate park, in the new footprint of Shaw recreation park. Make pedestrian paths through the park connecting the 1600 blocks of 10th Street and 11th Street. Install better landscaping, lighting and fencing.
3. Construct a dog park in the new, larger triangle park created by the re-alignment of Q Street.
4. Demolish and reconstruct Shaw Middle School such that it fronts and runs parallel to Rhode Island Avenue and the newly created 1600 block of 10th Street. Design a rounded corner at Rhode Island Avenue and 10th Street that pays homage to the Asbury Dwellings structure.
5. Create an additional athletic field -- and potentially a track -- along the 900 block of R Street for Shaw Middle School.
6. Demolish and reconstruct Seaton Elementary School such that it fronts and runs parallel to Rhode Island Avenue.
7. Improve the Seaton athletic fields and courts with better landscaping, lighting, fencing, and entrances