Our Concerns About the Adams Campus – a message from the OCC

Dear OA Families: 
We write to update you on the current facility challenges at our Adams campus which houses our 4th- 8th grade students.

Oyster-Adams added middle school Dual Language programming 13 years ago when it obtained the John Quincy Adams Building in Adams Morgan. Families were told then that design plans for a modernization would begin soon as the building was showing signs of deterioration. We have since been bumped from the modernization calendar every review cycle.

Last year, Adams was included in the FY19-24 Capital Improvement Plan with $2.5m of modernization planning money in FY24. Planning typically takes one year, while construction takes another two years. This means we would have a modernized Adams Facility by the fall of 2026 if there are no other delays. We cannot wait that long! 

Our Concerns

Below are the current facility concerns that force us to ask District leadership for immediate action:

  • Leaks in the roof around the skylights have caused water damagein classroom ceilings and indoor rain.
  • The basement floods regularly – where the boiler is located
  • Temperatures in the school are very hot in winter months (90-100 degrees in some rooms). We are currently slated for HVAC replacement.
  • The cafeteria sits above the flooded basement. The flooding in the cafeteria might be coming from the gym above or from the exterior
  • The floors of the gym are buckling due to flooding in the gymnasium vestibule due to leaks in the exterior wall
  • Mosquitoes breed in the chronically wet basement and bite people all over the building
  • New windows were installed in the summer of 2018 and they leak
  • The kitchen sinks in the School Cafeteria do not drain forcing make-shift cooking and and cleaning procedures for cafeteria staff
  • The playground has broken playground equipment and jagged metal objects posing risk to students at recess

Students need a building that doesn’t create distractions from learning or pose health hazards. The OCC (OA’s PTO) hired a 3rd party lab in December 2018 to conduct air quality and mold testing. Preliminary results confirm the presence of mold spores consistent with prolonged interior water intrusion. 

The Oyster-Adams LSAT (Local School Advisory Team) has created a Facilities Committee to examine the needs of the Adams building and organize parents to formulate and communicate a fact-based appeal to the city for urgent modernization of the Adams Campus. The only way to get results is parent outcry. 

How can you help?

  • Join our social media campaign: @FixAdams on twitter, FixAdamsNow on Facebook, and #FixAdamsNow. Use your social media to amplify them! 
  • Show your support in public forums where policy makers are listening. This is happening NOW.Please use this SignUp to find out where and when, and keep track of where you will show your support. 
  • Lobby individual Council members and other city officials. The LSAT facilities committee is coordinating an effort to reach all of them. 
  • Engage with the LSAT facilities committee by expressing your level of interest in this very quick and easy survey.


Join the conversation, and help in whatever ways you are comfortable.
Sincerely, Your OCC Board

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