Some neighbors continue to oppose the project but Holy Names Academy is hoping changes to its plan for a new five-level underground parking garage and a new surface parking lot on its North Capitol Hill campus will help move the project forward with city planners.
In a letter sent to neighbors of the private, all-girls high school, the academy announced it was eliminating plans for an entrance to the underground garage on 21st Ave, a city greenway route, and moving the planned new gym and garage “slightly to the east” to preserve more of the existing lawn and green space. CHS first reported on the proposal here in January.
“One of the issues raised about our proposed Project concerned the compatibility of the Greenway on 21st Avenue with a Garage entrance/exit on that street,” head of school Liz Swift tells CHS about the latest changes.
“As a result, we asked our architects and consultants to explore the possibility of eliminating that driveway. We were pleased to learn that this was feasible with some modifications to our original design,” she writes.
Swift also is touting a study for the school by Heffron Transportation, “a highly regarded group of traffic engineers who focus on both public and private schools,” that she says helps show the planned parking will address the needs of its 31% of faculty, staff, and students who drive to the campus “and also remove traffic (and carbon emissions) from neighboring streets, since people will not need to drive around, looking for a parking place.”
Meanwhile, the school’s quest for a master use permit for the project from the city remains under review and a solid bank of neighborhood opposition remains — in June, a petition with around 100 signatures was submitted to city planners as part of the public comment process.
Holy Names enrolls around 700 students and already completed a recent 9,000 square-foot addition to its beautiful dome-capped northern Capitol Hill campus. Its quest for better parking solutions for those 700 students and their parents is likely a harbinger for similar needs at nearby St. Joseph School.
HELP CHS COVER THE COVID-19 CRISIS -- SUBSCRIBE TODAY: Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.