The District’s premier comprehensive high school of 1600 students had been in dire need of renovation and expansion for decades. Originally built in 1935, this $95m LEED Gold project - won by cox graae + spack in a design competition in 2009 - opened for the 2011-2012 academic year with only one year of off-site swing. The listed DC Historic Site, involving 300,000 sf of renovated existing space and 75,000 sf of new, was reorganized into three major venues each independently operational for school and community use. At the heart of the campus - where there was once an uninviting paved outdoor space - the Academic Building now features a dynamic 10,000 sf, 4-story, landscaped central atrium with a dramatic tree-column supported skylight roof providing a central space for the school to gather and engage. The Athletic Center strategically positioned two new gyms with an exercise facility in the old Power Plant next to the recently completed Aquatic Center forming a new athletic recreation complex. The exciting new Visual and Performing Arts Center entered through a new 2-story lobby includes an 850-seat state-of-the-art auditorium with scene shop, black box theater, band and music rooms, 2D and 3D art studios, choral arts and dance studios, robotics lab, media center, cyber café, media production and computer labs.