210 North Lee Street, #208, Alexandria, VA 22314
Location: Washington, DC
Design/Build: Mar 2011 (GMP)
Mar 2011 to Dec 2011
Total Square Feet: 119,000
Site: 5 acres.
Number of Buildings: Two; PK-8 32 classrooms seating 24 each;
auditorium, 500 seating; gymnasium, 120 seating.
Building Sizes: First floor, 41,667; second floor, 39,667; third
floor, 37,666; total, 119,000 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 13’8”; second floor, 13’8”; third
floor, 12’; total, 41’4”.
Basic Construction Type: Renovation.
Foundation: Cast-in-place. Exterior Walls: CMU, brick,
curtain wall. Roof: Membrane. Floors: Concrete.
Interior Walls: CMU, metal stud drywall.
Projected and/or modeled energy usage KBTU/SF/yr: 30.1.
Associate Architect: Bryant Mitchell Architects - 7826 Eastern
Avenue, NW, #409, Washington, DC 20012
Structural Engineer: ReStl Designers, Inc. - 1775 K Street NW,
#220, Washington, DC 20006
General Contractor & Cost Estimator: Turner Construction Company
- 1110 Vermont Avenue NW, #200, Washington, DC 20005
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: Global Engineering Solutions -
1900 M Street, NW, #200, Washington, DC 20036
In December 2010, the Takoma Education Campus, a PK-8 school in
Washington, DC, was ravaged by a devastating fire. Nearly everything was
destroyed. The structure, columns, and slabs were fine, but lights had
melted; tiles were fractured; and desks were reduced to piles of ash.
A little more than three months after the fire, the design-build team
was selected. The project budget was set at almost $25 million, and the
week after Thanksgiving set for substantial completion, allowing Takoma
students and staff to be back in their home school in less than one
The team invited the community to bi-weekly progress meetings held at
the temporary school, community centers, and finally at the adjacent
gym. Teachers and students wanted to know what was going on at their
building as well, but due to the extreme nature of the work on site and
the compressed schedule, they could not participate in traditional "hard
hat days" or teacher walkthroughs. Video links were established between
the site and the temporary school building and virtual walkthroughs were
offered on a regular basis. Students could actually watch their school
come back to life right before their eyes.
Built in the late 1960s, Takoma followed the concept of an open plan
school. Large open spaces without interior walls were designed for
collaborative learning - but the nature of the approach was very dark
and cavernous. Where the fire had left the remains of a 1960s shell, the
design-build team created a beautiful 21st century school. Where the old
building was composed of massive brick piers and recessed window wells,
the new building proudly presents columns of curtain walls and glass,
bridges of light and color, and a student greenhouse on the third floor
terrace. The glass columns allow light to flood into the classrooms.
Brightly colored window jams bounce complementary hues across floors,
ceilings, and desktops.
The LEED® Gold-certified building addresses many student-centered issues
such as sound attenuation, indoor air quality, and thermal comfort. The
introduction of natural light was a key consideration during the design
process. The old Takoma Education Campus was a dark environment with few
windows. The newly renovated facility features rows of bump-out windows,
two light wells, and the use of interior glass to create transparency
In the end, the Takoma team programmed, designed, permitted, bid, and
constructed 119,000 square feet in 243 days. Miles of cable, gallons of
paint, yards of carpet and flooring were all ordered, delivered, and
installed in less than seven months. An educational community was lifted
up, dusted off, and put right in a year to the day of a fire that shook
"It's a great place for kids to be," noted Principal Rikki Hunt Taylor.
"It's 21st century, it's modern, and it reflects our vision, our
mission. To come back here exactly 12 months later to have a
ribbon-cutting is fabulous and fascinating, and I really didn't think it
was going to happen that fast. But it did and it's gorgeous and I'm
Roofing: Mid-Atlantic Foam, Mule-Hide
Windows: Kawneer Daylighting: Supersky
Flooring: Forbo, Altro Elevators: Eklund