In 2011 DMS provided the cost estimating for Dunbar High School in Washington DC.

The history

Dunbar High School is a public secondary school and is located in the Truxton Circle neighbourhood of Northwest Washington DC.  Dunbar High School has historically been considered one of DC’s most premier schools. It has always attracted high-quality faculty, and as a result, parents send their children to the high school from across the city because of its high standards. Founded in 1870 this school was the first for African-American high school students.

The project

The renovation of the school was set to be the embodiment of its forward thinking approach to excellence.  It would have an abundance of new windows providing natural light, and each classroom would have interactive smart boards, computers, and televisions. Students would also have an eight-lane pool, a gymnasium, and a state-of-the-art auditorium. Included in the design of the project was the intent to preserve the originality of the building, keep its history alive.

Once it re-opened, Mayor Vincent Gray, who had been part of Dunbar’s Class of 1959 said: “Today we can all say that Dunbar High School continues to stand proudly as a monument to learning and a monument to inspiring architecture as it has been in the past.”

Implementation of the renovation

The renovation of Dunbar High School included two concept estimates which included demolition of the existing high school, and construction of a new 280,000 SF, state of the art, LEED Platinum high school for 1,100 students.

The building would be a composition of one below-grade floor level and a 4-level above grade structure.  It was designed to send a strong message to the students starting classes following its reopening about the vision the school has for the future of education.

Construction costs

Estimated construction cost: $113 million.