This week, the doors of Raymond Elementary School opened, welcoming students and staff back to campus with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony. Commemorating the culmination of a meticulous three-year renovation of the 93,000 SF Washington, DC campus, the event was attended by Mayor Muriel Bowser, members of the community, and project teams, including our own, who have been instrumental in bringing this exciting effort across the finish line in time for the first day of school.
The grand reopening of the Pre-Kindergarten through 5th Grade school marks the latest in a series of school modernization projects that MGAC has proudly partnered on with the DC Department of General Services (DGS) and District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). Since 2017, our team has provided program management under an IDIQ contract to support planning, scope and budget alignment, design, and construction for a variety of project types and sizes, ensuring each school is prepared for a sustainable and bright future. To date, that work has spanned more than 50 campuses across the District, including major renovation works for Eliot-Hine Middle School, visited by President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden this past Monday to mark the start of the school year.
The successful delivery of Raymond Elementary marks an important milestone in our ongoing portfolio of work. Eyeing a Net-Zero future for the District, Raymond Elementary served as a critical proving ground for bringing green building models to a historic campus. The list of innovative energy efficiency features is long, spanning geothermal wells, solar panels on both existing and strategically added roof and canopy structures, a solar-powered daylight shading control system, occupancy sensors for lighting and outlet activation, green roofs, and more.
“The significance of this project cannot be understated,” says Elyse Roeder, Senior Director at MGAC. “All of the complexity and every creative solution that went into this build gave us critical takeaways that can be applied in future school projects, and the payoff of that hard work is evident the moment you step onto the campus.”
At every turn, Raymond Elementary School reflects an environment for learning that honors the campus’ unique historic attributes, while ushering in exciting modern elements. Every classroom has been updated, and teachers now have the opportunity to expand learning beyond the four walls of the classroom, making use of dedicated discovery commons, small group spaces, and resource rooms throughout the grounds. The library now includes a robust makerspace for hands-on learning. Even the hallways come alive with local art from DCPS’s public art program. Additionally, students, staff, and visitors can appreciate the building’s sustainability features in action via countless digital energy usage displays that update in real-time, inviting everyone to take part in and champion a more sustainable future.
Thanks to this ambitious project, Raymond Elementary School’s story, which dates back to 1924, is truly just beginning. It has been an honor working alongside DGS, DCPS, MCN Build, STUDIOS Architecture, and Global Engineering Solutions to welcome the Raymond Elementary School Tigers back to their newly renovated home.