On behalf of D.C. Public Schools, the District of Columbia Department of General Services has issued an RFP (request for proposal) to renovate Duke Ellington School of the Arts at 3500 R St., NW. Plans were due yesterday, Aug. 7, and DGS said it is “seeking firms that exhibit design excellence and that are capable of transforming the school building into an icon for the performing arts while respecting the historic character of the existing building. … Representatives of the school community and its stakeholders will be involved throughout the process. “
“The existing Duke Ellington facility was constructed in 1898,” the DGS report stated. “The selected architect/engineer will be required to provide the design for the renovation and expansion of the existing historic school. The existing building is undersized to meet the school’s existing needs and it is envisioned that new space will need to be added as an ‘in-fill’ addition in order to fully meet programmatic requirements, creating a total building square footage of approximately 165,000. The renovated facility will serve approximately 510 students and will serve as a magnet school for the performing arts. … The renovation and expansion must be complete prior to the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year.”
The $82-million reconstruction project will close the school to student for two academic years: 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. During that time, Ellington students will have to go to another school, not yet determined.