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Mayor Bowser Celebrates Groundbreaking at Orr Elementary School

Thursday, May 25, 2017

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser broke ground at Orr Elementary School in Ward 8. The new state-of-the-art, 77,000 square-foot elementary school will be ready for the 2018-2019 school year. The Mayor was joined at the groundbreaking by At-Large Councilmember David Grosso, Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White, DC Public Schools Chancellor Antwan Wilson, Director of the Department of General Services Director Greer Johnson Gillis, Orr Principal Carolyn Jackson-King, and members of the community.

“My Administration is committed to accelerating school reforms that give all children, in every ward the opportunity to reach their full potential,” said Mayor Bowser. “Today’s groundbreaking marks the beginning of a great new chapter for the entire Orr community, including its incredible students, teachers, and families. I look forward to cutting the ribbon on this state-of-the-art facility.”

The existing Orr Elementary School, built in 1974, is an open space school. The new school will feature 26 individual but flexible classrooms for students in pre-K through fifth grade. In addition to these teaching spaces, the new building will include a parent resource center, a dedicated suite for special education, a new library with an adjacent laptop lab and maker space, a music room, an art room with kiln, and an outdoor learning space.

“I’m proud that Mayor Bowser has invested more than $1.6 billion in building and modernizing schools across the city. Bringing a new, world-class facility to the Orr Elementary School community so that our Ward 8 students can get high-quality teaching and learning in a high-quality building is a great achievement for our city,” said Chancellor Wilson.

This is a two-phase, $47 million project, and the existing school will remain operational while the new building is under construction. The first phase of construction will include the new building and play areas. The play area included in Phase One will be dedicated to younger students, and feature open space as well as play equipment and interactive terrain elements. The second phase will include the remaining site work and green spaces, including multiple play features for older students, a teacher parking lot, site fencing, new trees and plantings, an open field, and a basketball court. Phase Two is scheduled to be completed in July 2019.

The project is seeking LEED Gold certification and will include a number of green features such as: photovoltaic panels, onsite storm water retention, permeable paving, energy efficient equipment, daylight harvesting and HVAC energy recovery.

Learn more about the Orr Elementary School Modernization Project at dgs.dc.gov.