|Built during the Millard Fillmore administration|
Deputy Director June Locker said, "We will find a way to make this happen."
The building in Stead Park that would house the program was built in 1851. It does not meet present-day requirements for a building that hosts child-care programs. For example, the building might have to be fitted with restrooms for children and also with a sprinkler system. In addition, if the program uses the second floor of the building, a staircase may have to be modified so children can more easily use it, especially in case of emergency.
"This is definitely an old building," said Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (district 2B-04) Kishan Putta, who organized the meeting. Putta is also on the board of the Friends of Stead Park.
The team from DPR said they would have to hire an architect in early March to examine the building for compliance with building code. If all goes well, the architect's report should be done by late March and a plan to implement the needed changes in place soon after.
It's still possible to get all this done before September, when the proposed program might start. However, enrollment for Cooperative Play Programs in other locations in DC will start on March 10. It seems unlikely there will be a decision on whether to green-light the program in Stead Park before then. At this meeting, parents were told they could sign up for a Cooperative Play Program elsewhere and still be eligible to sign up for the Stead Park program if it becomes a reality later this year.
If safety issues are resolved, it seems likely the program will go ahead.
"I feel pretty confident that we're going to have the staffing," Dr. Shanklin told the Dupont Current newspaper in January.
The initiative to start a Cooperative Play Program in Stead Park was also the subject of the January 21 SALM blog post.