Extensive renovations are underway at the School Without Walls on G Street, and school officials hope the multi-million dollar project will modernize the visibly aging 125-year-old building to provide much-needed resources for academics.
Construction on the building, located adjacent to the new GW residence hall on F Street, began this fall and is on schedule to be completed by summer 2009. The School Without Walls is a D.C. Public Schools high school affiliated with GW, allowing students to take college-level classes. Since fall 2007, the school has been relocated to the Logan School near Union Station.
In addition to a complete gutting of the interior of the building, the project also includes a three-floor addition on the east wing, which will have floors completely dedicated to the music and art departments and a terrace for outside activities. The basement of the old building will be almost completely devoted to the science department, housing labs for biology, chemistry and physics.
As the move-in date slowly approaches, faculty members are looking forward to new soundproof classrooms, interactive touch-screen whiteboards, new desks and working heat and air, among other improvements.
Before the joint GW-DCPS project commenced, the rapidly aging school was in serious need of repair and beginning to show its years. A leaky roof forced repeated class relocations, heating was often inefficient and faulty air conditioners led to steamy springtime temperatures. Students recall one incident when a large piece of plaster fell from the ceiling, hitting a student below.
Corey Null, a mathematics teacher, notes that when the renovation is complete, it will be refreshing to “concentrate on teaching rather than the classroom.”
This article appeared in the January 26, 2009 issue of the Hatchet.