Coolidge High School modernization breaks ground

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Mayor Muriel Bowser and other city officials attend a ceremony to break ground on the Coolidge High School renovation. (Brian Kapur/The Current/September 2017)

Officials broke ground this month at Coolidge High School, which is being renovated to modernize the campus and add a middle school to the site, according to a release. The facility at 6315 15th St. NW in Takoma will have the capacity to serve more than 1,100 middle and high school students when it reopens in the 2019-20 school year.

“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,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said in the release.

The $163 million project will include new spaces for the high school’s Health Sciences Academy and Mass Media Program, two atrium spaces, breakout spaces on every floor for small group instruction and collaboration, a child care center, a health center and an outdoor garden. As part of the project, the middle school is being built as a separate academic space from the high school, and will have its own school leadership, although the curriculum will be aligned with that of the high school.

Initially, the middle school will open to sixth-graders starting in fall 2019; it will expand over the next two years to serve grades six through eight by the 2021-22 school year. Coolidge will be the in-boundary middle school beginning in the 2019-20 school year for sixth-graders currently served by Brightwood Education Campus, LaSalle-Backus Education Campus, Takoma Education Campus and Whittier Education Campus. Once the new middle school is in operation, those programs will offer only pre-K through fifth grade.