Hyde Leadership Public Charter School Ribboncutting

Fast-track completion on a shoestring

In just over 16 months of design and construction, the 194,000 gsf former Taft Junior High School has been transformed into the new Washington, DC campus of the Hyde Leadership Public Charter School. The $17 million modernization has reinvigorated the four buildings on campus, dating from 1932 to 1967, to ensure that the preK – 12 school’s facilities manifest the school’s motto that “Excellence Lives Here.”

Building Upon History
Taking advantage of the natural light, the spatial quality, the architectural finishes – including hard wood floors in many classrooms and plaster and “art glass” detailing in the auditorium – of the original campus, the design respects and enhances the historic architecture to create a 21st Century learning environment with a distinctive ambiance. For example, new infrastructure for education technologies has been seamlessly integrated into the classrooms and labs. Historic wood demonstration tables in the science laboratories have been complemented by flexible new benches and infrastructure including fume hoods, creating a combination of the best of the old and the new.

A Welcoming Place to Learn that Reinforces HydeDC’s Culture
Ensuring that the campus reflects the needs of each student while building a sense of community, the school’s identity has been integrated into the architecture through the use of color and graphic design. The preK – 8 and the high school each have their own place on campus identified by distinctive color schemes establishing an identity for each within the larger learning community. In turn, Hyde’s five guiding words and five principles are “writ large” on the walls of the common spaces, reinforcing Hyde’s vision for each student’s and the entire school’s academic and life long success.

A Community Place
Demonstrating the school’s commitment and engagement with the community, the auditorium has been restored to its former grandeur and the gym has been renovated and visually opened up, creating two great settings for the school and community to come together. Likewise, the restored façade of the campus has a grand civic presence overlooking the adjacent park that the neighborhood will share with the school’s athletic teams.

The renewed campus that greeted the students, staff, and families of HydeDC on December 17th is the result of a lot of hard work over the past year-and-a-half by the school, Building Hope, MCN Build, and the design team lead by Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects. By working closely and collaboratively, the team has realized a great project that befits this great school and the families of Washington, DC.

For more on the Hyde Leadership Public Charter School, click here.

In the news: "For Hyde charter, a long road home", Washington Post, December 17, 2010

Hyde Leadership Public Charter School Ribbon Cutting Ceremony