SOURCE: Capital City Public Charter School

Capital City Public Charter School

October 09, 2012 08:47 ET

Capital City Public Charter School to Hold Grand Opening of State-of-the-Art Ward 4 Facility -- the Product of $24 Million in Renovations

Award-Winning D.C. Charter School Expands to Meet Citywide Demand

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Oct 9, 2012) - On October 10, 2012, Capital City Public Charter School will celebrate the grand opening of its new home located at 100 Peabody Street, NW, in Ward 4. Capital City relocated from two sites in Columbia Heights in Ward 1 to start the school year at the now-modernized facility commonly known as the Louis Charles Rabaut School.

The 168,000 square-foot facility serves students in grades PK-12. There is a lower school, middle school, and high school, each with its own principal and staff. "It was an important part of our vision to have students together in one building to ensure the consistency in our program and the feeling of one unified school community," explained Capital City's Head of School Karen Dresden. For parents with students of different ages, this is a real benefit. "I have children in the lower school and the high school; it is great to have them be in one place and wonderful to know that my youngest child can attend Capital City through high school," said Clarence Wesley, parent of three Capital City students.

Capital City invested more than $24 million in the city-owned facility through a state-of-the-art renovation. In addition to bright and beautiful classroom spaces, the facility includes a multi-level library, four science labs, three computer labs, three art rooms, three music rooms, a black box theatre, a gymnasium and fitness center. Seven acres of outdoor space include athletic fields, a garden and two playgrounds. "The facility was carefully designed to meet our program needs. It supports our expeditionary learning model by providing space for project-based learning and facilities to support our strong arts and fitness programs," Dresden said.

The school worked with Shinberg Levinas, a Bethesda-based architecture firm, to design the space to fit its program. MCN Build, based in Georgetown, served as the Construction Manager. The school was represented throughout the design and construction phases by Brailsford & Dunlavey, a nationally recognized program management firm.

The facility has allowed Capital City to expand its award-winning program -- increasing from 630 students to 950 by adding space in grades PK-8. Capital City consistently has one of the largest applicant pools for available spaces of any charter school in D.C. with more than 2,000 students applying in 2012. In past years, there had been a very small number of spaces available, and only in entry-level grades. The expansion gives more District students the opportunity to attend. 

Finding suitable facilities is often the biggest challenge for D.C. charter schools, which are responsible for finding their own buildings and for funding renovations. "We are grateful for the support of many organizations that helped us achieve this goal," said Board Chairman David Bennett. "It is a remarkable accomplishment for Capital City and for the entire charter school community." Capital City worked with Building Hope, a local non-profit dedicated to helping charter schools find facilities. Requity Real Estate Group, LLC also assisted Capital City with the project. The construction project funding was secured with Bank of America, Building Hope and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE).

The renovation has created a welcoming and dynamic learning environment; however, there are still additional renovations, which Capital City hopes to raise additional funds to complete, including the renovation of a 700-seat theatre, and creating a full-service kitchen, which would allow the school the option of preparing its own meals.

The grand opening of Capital City's new location will take place on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 from 9:30-10:15 a.m. at 100 Peabody Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20011. In addition to student and faculty presentations, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and Ward 4 Council member Muriel Bowser will both make remarks and an official statement of support from the Honorable Arne Duncan will be presented. Building tours will be conducted following the core program.

Capital City Public Charter School is an award-winning public school of choice for children Pre-K through 12th grade. Capital City students complete a rigorous academic program that emphasizes both independent and collaborative learning within an inclusive democratic community. Through the Expeditionary Learning model, students study compelling topics through authentic hands-on learning experiences that result in high-quality products. The school serves a diverse population of 950 students.

A charter school is a free public school that operates independently of the local school system with funding determined by a per-pupil formula. The school is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization led by a board of trustees that includes parents, educators, community leaders, and financial and legal experts. Please visit for more information.

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