Bancroft Elementary School
Washington, D.C.
Award of Merit 

Owner: D.C. Dept. of General Services
General Contractor: Coakley & Williams Construction
Lead Design Firm: Ayers Saint Gross
Structural Engineer: SK&A Structural Engineering
Civil Engineer: Wiles Mensch
MEP Engineer: JVP Engineers
Subcontractors: Heller Electric; W.L. Gary (Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing); Chiaramonte Construction (Framing, Sheathing & Masonry)

A previously disjointed five-building school complex was transformed into a unified, operational and administratively functional building that enhances its role as a community hub. Two historically significant buildings were renovated and integrated with a new 74,000-sq-ft addition that simplifies access to learning spaces on multiple levels. The site’s steeply sloped terrain, nestled between urban and natural landscapes, presented an opportunity to make the project’s stormwater management system a learning tool, teaching students how water moves from the roofs of the buildings to a series of rainwater gardens, according to the team. These constructed elements both slow and clean stormwater, minimizing impacts to Piney Branch Creek and the larger watershed, the team says.  

Because the construction schedule for the $67.4-million project was reduced by nearly a year to just 14 months, coordinating building the interior and exterior work helped give each trade sufficient time and access to complete its assignments. Each group was engaged daily to ensure all workers were aware of concurrent activities to prevent disruptions to workflows and deliveries, the team says. Subcontractor scopes of work were strategically refined as the project progressed to minimize change orders that often arise when the work of two trades transition to each other. The team says minimizing the uncertainties that arise with time-sensitive projects allowed the school to be completed under budget and on time.

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