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Founded in 1789, Georgetown Preparatory School was the vision of John Carroll, the first bishop of Baltimore. The boarding and day school for boys in grades nine through twelve was originally part of the Georgetown University campus. In 1921, Georgetown Prep moved to its current location on 93-acres in North Bethesda, Maryland. In conjunction with a comprehensive campus Master Plan that created significant new physical education and athletic space, the School sought to re-purpose their existing gymnasium into a new Learning Commons with new and contiguous communal student space.
The new George Center is a unique, multi-function, academic building that adapts the 1950’s era former gymnasium into a dynamic campus hub and student gathering place. The building consists of two elements separated by a glass-roofed gallery: the completely reconfigured old gymnasium and a new and contemporary three level addition. The new program area is a strong counterpoint with a spacious, skylit atrium. Comfortable student lounges and a full-service café provide social space for students, allowing them to relax, socialize, eat, study, or attend classes all in the same building. Fronting the school’s academic quadrangle, the old gym building’s original basketball court floor was converted into a dramatic new, 9,250 SF library with a 25-foot-high reading room. The facility features 14,000 literary volumes, a computer research center, a smart classroom and conference room, private study rooms, faculty offices, and a tutoring suite. Below the reading room floor, 8 full-sized academic classrooms replace the original locker and shower rooms.