Approximately four months ago, the D.C. government chose to not lease the vacant Thaddeus Stevens School to the Ivymount School in Rockville, Maryland, for a special needs center. Now, new plans have been announced for the historic school, located at 1050 21st Street NW.
The Stevens School is expected to undergo a $20 million renovation, headed by the development team of Akridge and Argos Group. The school will reopen as an an infant and toddler child development center with an expansion for School Without Walls at Francis-Stevens.
According to a press release published on PoPville, School Without Walls at Francis-Stevens is a rigorous school that served 471 students in the PK3 through eighth grades during the 2016 to 2017 school year. It had over 900 students on its waitlist.
In a statement, Mayor Muriel Bowser said, “By reopening Thaddeus Stevens, we will be able to provide more child care options for D.C. families, while expanding access to one of our most sought after elementary and middle schools.”
According to the Washington Business Journal, the development team also plans on constructing a 10-story office building on the school parking lot with a two-story lobby, 8,000 square feet of retail space, and a landscaped rooftop terrace.
There are also plans to create a statue of Pennsylvania congressman and prominent abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens as well as a new program to familiarize students with the development process. The public should also expect a new rotating art gallery celebrating the work of African-American artists, a $10,000 annual scholarship fund, and a wall celebrating the legacy of Stevens.
Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Mike Silverstein said in a statement, “Our community had high hopes for School Without Walls at Francis-Stevens. Those hopes have been met and exceeded with an ungraded curriculum, academic progress, an active and engaged HSA, and a huge waiting list for all eight wards.”
The Stevens School was constructed in 1868 as one of the city’s first publicly-funded schools for African-American children. It later closed in 2008.
• Akridge will renovate Stevens for School Without Walls while building office next door [Washington Business Journal]
• “Plan to Reopen Thaddeus Stevens School as New Child Development Center and Expansion of School Without Walls at Francis-Stevens” [PoPville]