It’s a big hole now — the construction site of Georgetown’s only public primary school, Hyde-Addison Elementary. In the hole is a large truck and a tower crane.
This is the second summer of a two-year, three-summer construction schedule. The Hyde-Addison School Modernization Project, with an overall budget of $33.6 million, will connect the two existing buildings and provide additional academic spaces and specialized areas. When completed, the school will hold 400 students, up about 25 percent from its former size.
While the project was slightly behind schedule in May due to a record rainy spring, it is now catching up, thanks to some weekend work. Water has been drained from the site and “resistance piers” — used to support the existing buildings’ foundations — have been installed.
The east and north footings, which will support the expanded building’s foundation, are due to be completed any day now, along with the final removal of rock from the excavated site.
Already the cranes have been set. “Tower cranes provide the best combination of height and lifting capacity for the construction of tall buildings,” said Amanda Ou, coordinator, facility management, for DC Public Schools. The concrete pouring for new walls should be done by the end of this month.
This summer also marks the end of the first school year of busing for the Hyde-Addison students, who attended school at a “swing” location in Adams Morgan.
“It went well,” said Jessica Homa, mother of three Hyde-Addison kids, with a shrug. “I was very concerned about my 3-year-old being on a bus for possibly up to an hour a day. But he loved it. Made him feel like a big boy.”