School Without Walls anticipates renovated facility

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.”

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