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Woodrow Wilson High School, Washington, DC

Main Entrance
Main Entrance

The project involved the revitalization of the existing 1935 Main Academic building as the center of the School with a full renovation of all 4 levels of the Academic Building.  A new single, main school entrance was designed through an inviting contemporary pavilion accessed from a new "Piazza" that reaches out to the major approaches to the school from the neighborhood and public transportation; what was previously an unfriendly outdoor courtyard transformed into a dramatic glass-roofed student commons "Crossroads" to form the focus and heart of the school.

Substantial improvement and expansion of the existing vertical and horizontal circulation systems throughout the campus included new stairs, elevators, ramps, and tripling of the connectors on multiple levels outwards from the Academic Building to reduce travel time and achieve full accessibility.  A new Visual and Performing Arts Center was constructed through the adaptive reuse of the existing 1974 Gym and 1935 Old Gym-Media center buildings.  Additionally, a centralized Athletic Center was formed with shared support facilities next to the recently completed Aquatic Center through adaptive reuse and expansion of the existing 1935 Power Plant into the Fitness Center.

Woodrow Wilson High School received LEED® Schools v3.0 Gold certification with the integration of major sustainable design features including: 7,700 square feet of green roof, rainwater harvesting system supplying gray water for irrigation and to toilets and urinals, permeable paving systems, high-performance/ energy-monitored HVAC and lighting systems, and extensive use of low VOC emitting and recycled materials.

Awards Won:
AIA|DC Award of Merit
American University & Magazine Architectural Showcase of Outstanding Design
CEFPI World Congress Lee J. Brockway Architectural Award
Construction Management Association of America Project Achievement Award
Construction Management Association of America Project of the Year Honorable Mention (Renovation/Modernization, Constructed Value Greater than $15M)
DC Historic Preservation Office (Office of Planning) Excellence in Historic Preservation Award
DC Historic Preservation Office (Office of Planning) State Historic Preservation Officer's Award
NAIOP DC|MD Award of Excellence
NAIOP DC|MD Best Renovation for Historic Renovation
Washington Building Congress Craftsmanship Awards (Multiple Trades)

Project Specifications


DC Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization


cox graae + spack architects


400,000 SF Occupied Renovation
LEED® Schools v3.0 Gold


Design-Build with GMP under GCS-SIGAL, LLC Joint Venture Partnership


14 Months

Woodrow Wilson High School
Woodrow Wilson High School