After years of waiting for students and alumni, Coolidge Senior High School in Northwest will finally see a full modernization, including a new middle school on its campus.
Mayor Muriel Bowser, joined by Council members Robert White (At-Large) and Brandon Todd (Ward 4), D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Antwan Wilson and others, broke ground on the two-year project on Friday.
“When we invest in education, we are investing in the future of our community,” Bowser said. “We heard loud and clear from our Ward 4 students, families, educators and community members that they want a modernized school that offers rigorous academics and specialized programming.
“Today, we are confident that when this project is finished, the modernized Coolidge will go above and beyond the expectations of the community,” she said.
The modernization project on the Coolidge High School building will include state-of-the-art spaces for the school’s Health Sciences Academy and Mass Media Program, two atrium spaces, breakout spaces on every floor designed for small group instruction and collaboration, a child care center, a health center and a new outdoor garden.
The updated facility will reopen in school year 2019-2020, designed to serve more than 1,100 middle and high school students.
The middle school’s curriculum will be developed to align with the academic programming at Coolidge High School, and the school will be constructed as a separate academic space and have its own dedicated school leadership, according to DCPS.
The middle school will begin serving sixth grade students in school year 2019-2020 and will grow to serve grades 6-8 by school year 2021-2022.
The new middle school will become the in-boundary schoolhouse for sixth grade students currently served by Brightwood Education Campus, LaSalle-Backus Education Campus, Takoma Education Campus and Whittier Education Campus in school year 2019-2020.
“Through this modernization, we will ensure that our students have access to a safe and welcoming learning environment, expose our students to careers in the medical field and increase opportunities for middle school students,” Wilson said.
Launched this school year, the new Health Sciences Academy at Coolidge High School aims to prepare students for success in college, career, and life by equipping them with critical skills needed to thrive in the medical and health care field, DCPS boasts.
“I’m thrilled for this investment that will allow DCPS to continue to expand options to meet the needs of students and families in every corner of our city,” Wilson said.