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Save the Lab School Pool

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MAY 5 UPDATE: As a follow-up to the meetings at Lab School on March 16 (parent meeting) and March 21 (community meeting), Lab School's representatives formed an Advisory Board to study the pool and theater options and asked the school's architect to analyze those options in greater detail. Please see the HIGHLIGHT below for further details and instructions on how to provide input to parent representatives in advance of the first meeting of the Advisory Board on June 7.


The Lab School of Washington (Lab) has an indoor pool that is a unique and valuable resource for students, staff and the community, including Lab's swim team and other local swim teams. The pool is less than 20 years old and was built specifically because many kids with learning disabilities have problems participating in traditional team sports. Swimming is a lifelong sport that provides these kids with therapeutic benefits, inside the classroom and out.

We are perplexed by Lab's announcement that it plans to eliminate the pool to create a new theater. The announcement provided little information, just the statement that the pool is under-utilized and the arts program is important to Lab. If the pool is under-utilized, what steps has Lab taken to fix that problem, such as finding better ways to provide swimming instruction to its students and integrate swimming into its PE and occupational therapy programs? In other words, isn't this really more of a management problem than a space problem? What other options were considered for the theater, such as renovating the existing theater or using nearby space at GW's Mount Vernon campus? Who has reviewed Lab's space plan and provided input?

I request a meeting at which Lab's head of school can discuss these matters with Lab students, parents, staff and community members.

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