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Roosevelt High School Project

Front View of the Roosevelt High School building

Project Overview

Theodore Roosevelt High School is located in the Petworth neighborhood in Ward 4. The home of the "Rough Riders," it was first constructed from 1930 to 1932 for a student population of approximately 1200 students.

The Roosevelt S.T.A.Y. program shares space at Roosevelt High school. S.T.A.Y. is an alternative education program for District of Columbia residents who wish to continue their education or participate in specialized job training programs. The school features a rigorous academic program and many strong college and career-related programs, including media and mass communications, business and entrepreneurship, culinary arts, barbering, and cosmetology. They offer a variety of competitive sports programs, and experienced guidance and wellness counselors to help students adjust to high school and prepare for college and career studies.

The renewed Roosevelt campus is centered around a new enclosed, central atrium that will serve as the “heart” of the modernized school. It is our endeavor to create a great 21st-century school for Roosevelt’s students, staff and community, this design will:

  • Provide technology-enhanced classrooms and laboratories that stimulate disciplinary exploration.
  • Foster the intellectual, social and emotional development critical to Roosevelt education by providing not only the best individual instructional spaces but also complementary places for positive school community interaction outside of class.
  • Nurture a sense of civic pride in the students by renovating and re-opening the historic, prominent 13th Street main entrance.
  • Promote proactive and subtle security by providing dedicated zones for the school and the public, and by distributing spaces for faculty and staff throughout the campus.
  • Reduce the perceived scale of the school for the users by streamlining the circulation through the building, and by creating identifiable “neighborhoods” of classrooms and support spaces based around the school’s academy structure.
  • Enable active community use of the gym, pool natatorium, and health clinic, without disruption of the academic program by zoning the facility for after school use.
  • Promote safe and accessible pedestrian patterns around the site.
  • Create a “high performance” school that both conserves resources and creates an environment conducive to learning.

Project Details

Roosevelt High School Modernization Project
4301 13th Street, NW
Ward: 4
Overall Project Budget: $136.1M
Architect: Perkins Eastman DC
Design-Build Team: Smoot-Gilbane
Project Status: In construction
LEED Goal: Gold Certification
Project Completion: August 2016
DCPS Contact:  Renard Alexander
DGS Project Managers: Kyle Whitley
DGS Contact: Jackie Stanley

Featured Presentation

Roosevelt High Renovation Project Community Meeting (June 18, 2015)

The new design was developed through a collaborative process engaging the faculty and staff of Roosevelt Senior High School, Roosevelt STAY, the School Improvement Team (SIT), the students, and community. By carefully analyzing the surrounding context, the existing school buildings, the sloping site topography, the traffic on and around the site, and the educational specifications, the team developed 10 design principles to help shape the intervention in and around the building.

  1. Re-establish the historic main entrance - When the additions were added to the school in the late 1970s, the main entrance was relocated to a service door at the back of the building. The renovation will restore the 13th Street historic main entrance and lobby, whose civic presence will instill a sense of pride in the students every time they enter the building.
  2. Create a distinct entrance for Roosevelt STAY - A separate and distinct entrance for S.T.A.Y. will also serve as a secure entry point for the community when accessing the gym, pool and health clinics.
  3. Create a “heart” of the school - The existing courtyard will be transformed into an enclosed atrium, creating a year-round active space at the very heart of the school.
  4. Activate the “heart” of the school with active program elements - Public program elements located around the atrium, such as the media center, dining, college and career counseling will activate the space all day, every day.
  5. Clearly organize the building into Academic, Arts, and Physical Education zones - Arranging the Arts, Academic and Physical Education program into clear zones corresponding to the individual buildings comprising the campus, circulation and wayfinding in the building will be greatly improved.
  6. Celebrate sustainable design strategies in the building - Celebrating the sustainable design strategies in the architecture, such as stormwater management and on-site power generation, creates educational opportunities for the students and teachers.
  7. Restore the integrity of the 1930's buildings - Removing inappropriate additions and introducing natural light and scale to the retained portion of the 1970's buildings will create new, high performance learning environments where they previously did not exist.
  8. Celebrate the existing historic architecture - Bring back the historic elements of the entry lobby and cupola, and distinguish new additions through modern and light-filled design.
  9. Support the school’s academy structure - Create distinct places and identities for each academy.
  10. Foster subtle security - Clear circulation paths and distributing administrators throughout the campus to foster subtle security and a safe learning environment.

Historic Preservation

DGS is working with the DC Office of Planning's Historic Preservation Division and PEDC to ensure that the Fresco Murals (November and December, 1934) are restored and relocated within the modernized Roosevelt HS. At this time, DGS is protecting the fresco murals, until determining how best to restore and move them to their new location.

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