Ellington School Construction Over Budget

The $139-million Duke Ellington School for the Arts Modernization Project is running over budget, according to the Department of General Services, and may also miss its deadline: the start of the historic high school’s 2016-17 academic year.

Ellington students have moved to Eugene Meyer Elementary School on 11th Street NW.

The construction will expand the 1898 school building at 3500 R St. NW – originally known as Western High School – to 294,900 square feet. The plans include a new atrium, an 850-seat theater and a classroom and limited-use space on the roof.

The school’s main portico will be preserved. Plans for exterior changes to the school still face scrutiny by the Historic Preservation Review Board.

The formal groundbreaking for the modernization project, by then mayor Vincent Gray, D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson, other local politicians and school officials, took place Dec. 19.


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