UDC Has a Friend in Marion Barry

The Patricia R. Harris Education Center in Washington, D.C., was a public school that was closed in 2008. Since that time, the 358,000-square-foot facility has housed training programs for fire department personnel and the office of the city’s child welfare agency.

But as the city council was preparing to pass its budget late last month, a provision was inserted at the last moment that transferred ownership of the building from the city to the University of the District of Columbia. City Council chair Vincent C. Gray included the transfer in the budget at the behest of former mayor and current council member Marion Barry. Other members of the council objected to the “giveaway,” but were unwilling to vote against the total budget package.

Barry, who holds degrees from LeMoyne College and Fisk University, has been a major supporter of the University of the District of Columbia. The university will use the building as a campus of its newly established community college.