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  Eastern High SchoolEastern High School

Architect, Structural, MEP Engineer

Fanning Howey
210 North Lee Street, #208, Alexandria, VA 22314

General Description

Location: Washington, D.C.
Guaranteed Maximum Price: Apr 2009
Construction Period: June 2009 to Aug 2010
Total Square Feet: 284,000 Site: 12.8 acres.
Number of Buildings: One, 82 classrooms, auditorium seating 1,063; gymnasium seating 1,175.
Building Size: Subterranean, 51,637; basement, 78,862; first floor, 71,687; second floor, 41,793; each additional floor, 40,021; total, 284,000 square feet.
Building Height: Subterranean, 7'9"; basement, 14'1"; first floor, 15'2"; second floor, 15'2"; each additional floor, 14'1"; total, 66'3".
Basic Construction Type: Renovation.
Foundation: Cast-in-place, reinforced concrete, slab-on-grade. Exterior Walls: CMU, brick. Roof: Built-up, metal.
Floors: Wood. Interior Walls: CMU, metal stud drywall, plaster. Projected and/or modeled energy usage KBTU/SF/yr: 68

Construction Team

Associate Architect: cox, graae + spack architects - 2909 M Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20007
General Contractor & Cost Estimator: Turner Construction - 1110 Vermont Avenue, NW, #200, Washington, D.C. 20005

Eastern High School was built in 1923 and is one of the oldest continuously operating high schools in the District of Columbia. Like many historic urban schools, Eastern had experienced a series of patchwork renovations that, combined with years of under funded maintenance budgets, detracted from its historic charm and - more egregiously - left the building unable to support modern educational practices.

In 2008, District of Columbia Public Schools determined that renovations were necessary to restore "The Pride of Capitol Hill." The district's goals included the development of small learning academies, the integration of energy-efficient building systems and the preservation of the historic structure.

Renovations reconfigured classrooms and science labs to resemble college-level learning environments. Academics areas, which formerly featured boarded up windows, are restored to their Collegiate Gothic splendor, with full-height windows and refurbished wood floors. In addition, two former interior light wells are now enclosed atriums. These dramatic spaces serve as student common areas and performance venues.

Many repurposed portions of the building provide new opportunities for hands-on learning. On the ground floor, a Practical/Project Lab includes an ambulance, which allows students to receive real-world training in Health & Medical Science. A robust technology infrastructure supports self-directed learning and programs such as Project Lead the Way. The entire Eastern campus is now wireless, and all classrooms include electronic whiteboards.

"The school did a complete 180 and went from bad to wonderful," said Anaje Boyd, a Senior in the Health & Medical Science program. "I really like it now and am proud to be a Rambler. Kids even stay after school just because it's a nice place to be."

Prior to the renovations, Eastern lacked even basic amenities such as air-conditioning. The design focused on "Warm, Safe, and Dry" improvements, including hazardous materials abatement and roofing and window replacement. All mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems were replaced, and new interior finishes and automated lighting controls were added throughout the building. Other sustainable features include a renovated greenhouse with a supporting rainwater cistern. Eastern earned LEED® Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

While a 21st century learning environment was taking shape, a parallel effort was underway to preserve Eastern's rich history. Preservation efforts included restoration of the following: leaded portico windows at the exterior, woodwork throughout the building, marble in the main stairway, terra cotta flooring in corridors, interior brick walls and interior plaster detailing. The school's auditorium received special attention, with the restoration of all original seats and the reopening of balconies that were walled off during previous renovations. The revitalized space is so state-of-the-art that it has been chosen as the new home of the D.C. Youth Orchestra.

Since reopening its doors in August 2010, the transformed Eastern High School has been greeted by rave reviews. Many faculty and students cried tears of joy as they experienced their new "old" school for the first time.

LEED® Points                       44 Total
Sustainable Sites                   9
Water Efficiency                  4
Energy & Atmosphere            9
Materials & Resources            6
Indoor Environment Quality   10
Innovation & Design Process   6

Product Information
Roofing: Genflex Flooring: Shaw, Forbo Marmoleum,
Lighting: Lightolier Windows: Traco
Daylighting/Skylights: Aluminum Framing Systems


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