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Posts Tagged ‘university’

Even if, like me, you never got into the TV show “The Wire,” you may know that it was about a troubled section of Baltimore. You also may be interested in a new school there, intended to serve as a real community gathering place.

New York Times design critic Michael Kimmelman has the story.

“In many ways, public schools are gated communities, dead zones,” writes Kimmelman. “They’re shuttered after dark and during the summer, open to parents and students while in session but not to the larger community.

“A new public school in one of the poorest neighborhoods in East Baltimore wants to challenge the blueprint. Designed by Rob Rogers, of Rogers Partners in New York, Henderson-Hopkins, as it’s called, aspires to be a campus for the whole area — with a community center, library, auditorium and gym — as well as a hub for economic renewal.

“This is the neighborhood where parts of ‘The Wire’ were filmed. In 2000, when the city’s mayor convened local business leaders, the vacancy rate was 70 percent. Poverty was twice the city average. Crime, infant mortality and unemployment were all through the roof.

“The idea that emerged — of making the school the centerpiece of a major redevelopment project — is a grand urban experiment. Operated by Johns Hopkins University in collaboration with Morgan State University, the school, which opened in January, belongs to a $1.8 billion plan that also includes new science and technology buildings, a park, retail development and mixed-income housing. While gentrification might threaten to displace the poor, the school is to be the glue that helps bind the district together.” Read more here.

Photo: Matt Roth for The New York Times
Henderson-Hopkins, which shares its library, gym, auditorium, and other features with the surrounding area, is designed to catalyze change in a blighted section of Baltimore.
 

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A lovely, warm day for walking, grandkids, and friends.

Here are a few photos, including one of director-playwright Jermaine Hamilton with cast members at Brandeis University.

I was so happy I managed to get to Jermaine’s senior-thesis play about inequality of U.S. high schools, Bridging the Gap. What a challenge to make it work for both his social sciences major and his theater minor! A great bunch of natural actors and Jermaine’s lighting and sound collaborators pushed it over the finish line, and judging from the audience comments in the talk-back, the issues that the play presented struck chords.

Jermaine has a teaching job lined up for next year, after graduation. The school is lucky to have him.

Jermaine, standing, joins his cast for a talk-back with the audience. The other pictures are walking-around shots.
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