Arlington-based GCS-Sigal gets $82 million renovation job for arts school

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GCS-Sigal LLC has been awarded an $82 million job to renovate and expand the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C.  The design-build project will expand the historic facility from 176,000 square feet to 294,900 square feet to meet current and future needs.

Named after composer/musician and D.C.-native Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, the school was originally built in 1898. According to Sigal, the building has received three renovations/major additions since and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.

The modernization will include modern performance spaces for both the visual and performing arts programs.  An historic original front bar and portico will be preserved and re-established as the main entrance for the school. The interior of the building will focus around a four-story atrium with a new 850-seat theater suspended in the middle. The renovation also includes large studios and rehearsal spaces in addition to typical high school facilities such as classrooms and labs. 

The project will implement sustainable building initiatives including geothermal wells, green roofs, and rainwater cisterning.

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