Statement On Efforts to Save Rosemount Center from Closing

Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau, Ward 1, issued the following statement following Rosemont Center’s announcement that it could no longer operate at its current location in Ward 1 after August of this year due to the termination of its lease. 

Hundreds of families in Ward 1, including many who could not otherwise afford it, rely on Rosemount Center to provide quality early childhood bilingual education to their children. The announcement last Friday that the community institution will be forced to close this August after its lease is terminated is devastating to families, the community, and staff. Quality affordable early childhood education is the most fundamental building block for success, leading to better outcomes in education, life success, and more. Rosemount has been in the building and in our community for decades. 

I have communicated with leaders at Rosemount and the Mayor’s office over several months, anticipating this possibility. On Friday, immediately after the announcement, I sent a letter to Mayor Bowser asking that the city purchase the property to preserve this school and vital institution. State Board of Education Ward 1 Representative Ben Williams joined me in making that request. I am also introducing legislation this week, along with Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, that would authorize the Mayor to purchase the property from the House of Mercy or negotiate a lease agreement. Her involvement will be critical to successfully protecting this community asset and I appreciate her longstanding commitment to early childhood education. 

Rep. Williams and I also asked the Mayor to help solve another urgent educational need in the same neighborhood – the need for additional pre-Kindergarten classrooms to serve the high demand at Bancroft Elementary School and other Spanish-language elementary schools in the area. We’d like to see the District purchase a building that is for sale at 16th Street and Park Road to house those classrooms, a solution that has already been identified in the Boundary Study from the Deputy Mayor for Education, and which has clear community backing. 

I stand with Rosemount Center and its students and families and will do everything I can to assure that we retain this community treasure and vital educational asset and I know that Representative Williams does as well. I look forward to working with the Mayor and her staff, and to quick consideration of my legislation in time to ensure that it gets necessary funding this year. 

Learn more about Rosemount Center and read their FAQ for parents 

Read the letter to the Mayor

View the draft legislation


I look forward to collaborating with the Office of Planning, neighbors, and local institutions to create a new community landmark we can all be proud of, one that will add density to the site, contribute to the shortage of affordable housing in this part of Ward 1 and provide new public amenities to help restore the vibrancy of this end of the U Street Corridor.

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