Dunbar High School


JOB NAME: Dunbar High School
SCHOOL: Dunbar High School
LOCATION: Washington, DC
PARTNER: District of Columbia Public Schools and Department of General Services
CONTRACTOR: Smoot / Gilbane Construction
ARCHITECT: Perkins Eastman / Moody Nolan

2013 – LEED Platinum Certification

In partnership with Perkins Eastman Architects, Smoot / Gilbane Construction, DC Public Schools, and the Department of General Services (DGS), the Paul Laurence Dunbar Senior High School is a 280,000 square foot new building that is located next to the former Dunbar High School building in the heart of Washington, D.C.

DES worked closely with Perkins Eastman, Smoot / Gilbane Construction, DGS, and DCPS to design the school’s casework, equipment, and furniture to facilitate the DCPS high school curriculum as well as specialty programs like the Charles R. Drew STEM & Pre-Engineering Academy including a Pre-engineering lab, Technology Labs, and Science Labs. The design of the furniture and equipment including General Classrooms, Media Center, Collaboration Areas, Music/Choral Rooms, Art Lab, and Administrative Offices provide flexible and inspiring learning environments for the students and faculty.

The design team created connections to the past with architectural features like the “open” concept alluding to the previous Dunbar High School as well as the “heart of the school” atrium academic core modeled after the previous school’s armory. A Museum Exhibit Hall displaying Dunbar artifacts and a century-old restored Steinway piano in the auditorium create an environment rich in tradition while looking towards the future with a contemporary aesthetic and ties to technology. From the finish selections to custom millwork benches, display cases, and Welcome Center/Media desks, close attention to detail was essential in preserving the history of the building while creating a modern, light, and open aesthetic.

In addition to the loose furniture and fixed casework, DES provided a wide range of equipment items ranging from athletic storage to metal and wood shop equipment to music and art equipment to weight/training room equipment.

DES Instructional Consultants also worked closely with the DCPS Instructional staff to supply specialty curriculum resources to support the STEM & Pre-Engineering programs, including Robotics, Computer Integrated Manufacturing and Fabrication Laboratory resources such as a 3-D Printer, Laser Engraver and CNC Machine.

The project was installed during the spring and summer 2013 for students to begin using for the 2013-2014 school year.





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