CLIENTDC Department of General Services, District of Columbia Public Schools
SERVICESBuilding Renovation, Interiors
SIZE115,000 sq ft
STUDIOS worked with the DC Department of General Services (DGS) and DC Public Schools (DCPS) to design and deliver the full modernization and renovation of Jefferson Academy Middle School, the building’s first major renovation since it’s original construction in 1939.
Housed in a historic building originally designed for two separate functions–Southwestern Branch Public Library and Jefferson Junior High School–STUDIOS worked closely with CFA and HPO to review the historic building, design concepts, and develop the project. The result is improved horizontal and vertical circulation, daylight to lower level spaces, and enhanced connections to the exterior.
Located in the developing neighborhood of the Wharf, the school is envisioned as a center for students, teachers, parents, and the greater community to engage each other. The spaces are intended to create learning environments that support the way students learn in the 21st century but also double as spaces that strengthen the community and engage the neighborhood.
The modernization of Jefferson Academy reflects the rapid development and change of the neighborhood which the school supports. The school’s welcoming design not only provides ample space for the education needs but serves as a community space for the SW District.
The design dramatically transforms the project site by maximizing green space, reconfiguring and expanding outdoor play spaces, allocating space for demonstration gardens, and adding terraced seating accessible from student dining. The hierarchy of the main entrance is also re-established by converting H Street into a pedestrian artery and by relocating parking and vehicular traffic to the 7th Street side of the building.
The school features numerous green building practices and sustainability elements like rainwater management, optimized energy efficiency, and on-site renewable energy production. The project is targeting LEED Version 4.0 Gold certification.
Jefferson Academy’s focus on STEM led to the incorporation of specialized program including Science Labs, Technology Lab, and Maker Space, as well as, Outdoor Classrooms and Demonstration Gardens. Throughout the school, technology is integrated and all academic spaces are designed to accommodate a one to one model of computers for all students.