Ground broken on £121m high school expansion in Washington, DC

WCN Editorial Team 23 Sep 2019 NORTH AMERICA BUILDINGS

Ground has been broken on the $152m (£121.7m) modernisation and expansion of the Benjamin Banneker Academic High School located in Washington, DC.

Originally built as a middle school and opened in 1981, the Banneker’s current facility lacks a high school-sized gym, up-to-date science labs, or access to new technology.

The modernisation and expansion project involves the demolition of the current building and the construction of more than 30 classrooms and speciality labs for science courses, lab spaces with the latest technology, resource rooms comprising spaces for small group projects and instruction, and gym and cafeteria spaces.

Upon completion, the new Banneker Academic High School will allow DC Public Schools (DCPS) to expand access to Banneker to 300 additional students.

Washington DC mayor Muriel Bowser said: “Our students at Banneker have achieved at the highest levels – now they will have access to the world-class learning facility that they deserve.

“I continue to be inspired by the incredible work students from all eight wards are doing at Banneker, and look forward to cutting the ribbon on this beautiful facility in 2021.”

Planned to be opened in School Year 2021-2022, the new Banneker Academic High School is being built at the site of the former Shaw Junior High School. It is planned to serve 800 students by 2025.

DCPS chancellor Lewis Ferebee said: “Students are speaking French fluently, developing innovative technology to address world challenges, and thinking critically about social justice to make a difference in their communities.

“This new facility will take instruction at Banneker to the next level, and I am proud that even more students will have the opportunity to attend the District’s premier high school.”

DC Department of General Services director Keith Anderson said: “I’m proud that our agency has a significant role investing in the lives of students who will enter the new Banneker Academic High School.

“Through a design to meet their educational needs coupled with the aim for the project to reach Net Zero energy goals, Banneker will be a place where everyone can thrive.”

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Image: The Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, DC. Photo: courtesy of Nyttend/Wikipedia.

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