[DC] The New Ballou Schematic Design :: MUST SEE

(D.C. Department of General Services)UPDATED 10/1 WITH VIDEO

This evening, Mayor Vincent C. Gray unveiled renderings of the brand-new Ballou High School in Ward 8. Behold, a sneak peek of the design by D.C.-based Bowie Gridley Architects and national firm Perkins & Will.

The city announced a year ago that it would build a new facility from the ground up rather than attempt a cheaper renovation of the current, crumbling late-1950s blond-brick building. The design reorients the Congress Heights campus, moving the football field from the south end to the north end, with the glassy building taking greater advantage of the property’s rather dramatic southerly slope.

The project is expected to cost about $120 million and will be done in two phases, with final completion in January 2015. It will feature all sort of “green” stuff, including rainwater harvesting, rain gardens, solar panels and more.

The campus as seen from above. North is to the right. (D.C. Department of General Services)
The campus seen from the south, with 4th Street SE in the foreground. (D.C. Department of General Services)

Here’s some of the building features, from a D.C. news release:

• Thirty-seven classroom spaces, 13 science and bio-technology labs, 15 classrooms for specialized education, multiple group activity learning spaces.

• Six dedicated spaces for the visual and performing arts; a greenhouse; an exhibition-style teaching kitchen with classroom space; a state-of-the-art auto-tech lab complete with lifts, paint booth, and classrooms; computer labs; and numerous specialized spaces to support the school’s various student programs.

• A new athletics wing complete with a competition basketball gym that features an indoor running track, and a an auxiliary gym to provide additional recreation space.

• An eight-lane, 25-yard competition swimming pool; a fitness center with new state-of-the-art exercise equipment, and health classrooms. This space will overlook the new football stadium and auxiliary field which will be completed in Phase 2. The auxiliary field will provide an additional venue for multiple sports as well as simultaneous outdoor band practice space.

• The auditorium will feature state-of-the-art design elements aimed at enhancing both the students’ and community’s experience. This will be one of the largest assembly spaces in Southeast Washington.

• A new cafeteria central gathering space with exciting views of the new spacious courtyard. The two-story cafeteria will have abundant natural light provided by floor-to-ceiling windows.

• A media center/library with high-tech features and abundant natural light.

• Other spaces include a band room with sound reinforcement and recording capabilities, media production lab and studio, a parent resource center, a childcare center and a health/dental center.

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