The District is seeking proposals from architects and engineering firms interested in being part of an $80 million redesign and upgrade at The Duke Ellington School of the Arts. DC released a request for proposals (RFP) July 9 and initial responses from interested firms are due Aug. 9.
The Georgetown Current first reported the RFP.
"The existing building is undersized to meet the school’s existing needs" according to the RFP. During renovations, the school will relocate to an undetermined temporary location for two years. The project must be finished in time for the 2015-2016 school year.
The Department of General Services (DGS), which manages DCPS building projects, wants the end product to be approximately 165,000 square feet. To accomplish this, DGS wants a project that both adds to the existing building and makes changes within it to better utilize space.
Ellington Principal Rory Pullens told The Georgetown Current that practice rooms are not big enough or in abundant enough supply for all of the school's students. “You find them all over the building practicing their particular instruments,” he explained.
"DGS is seeking firms that exhibit design excellence and that are capable of
transforming the school building into an icon for the performing arts while respecting the historic character of the existing building," the RFP states.
The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and will undergo particular scrutiny for the historic exterior design elements.
Architects and engineers have until Aug. 9 to deliver an initial proposal that shows they have the experience and qualifications to plan an execute a project of this sort in a timely, professional manner and on-budget.
D.C. will select up to four firms to proceed to the second phase, which is more design intensive. From Oct. 1 to Nov. 21 the chosen groups will develop new designs that they will then present by mid-December. DGS anticipates awarding the design contract by January 2013.
Among the considerations the architects/engineers must include in their plans are:
- "The interior spaces should present an inviting learning environment and be equipped with the latest in technology, including innovative and first-rate facilities to house the school’s performing arts program."
- "The proposed design solution must be a first-class, state-of-the art high school facility and must achieve, at a minimum, LEED Silver certification."
- "The A/E will also be required to develop a workable swing plan for the Duke Ellington students while construction is underway."