The students cut the ribbon on the brand new Maury Elementary School Monday, August 26, ushering in a new school year together with their new school at a ceremony attended by dignitaries from the District government.
Mayor Muriel Bowser, Councilmember Charles Allen (Ward 6-D), DC Public Schools Chancellor Lewis Ferebee and Department of General Services (DGS) Director Keith A. Anderson also attended the ribbon-cutting, which marked the beginning of the DCPS school year.
The $52 million renovation includes new classrooms for up to 540 students, a state-of-the-art media center and maker space in the glassed-in library above the corner of Constitution Avenue and 13th Street NE, indoor and outdoor play as well a green roof.
“It’s a really inspiring facility to teach and to learn in,” said Maury Elementary School Principal Helena Payne Chauvenet of the new Maury Elementary School building, which reopened at 1250 Constitution Ave. NE Monday morning. “I’m excited to teach about the historic part of the building and the modern part, and to integrate them into one learning experience.”
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Chauvenet thanked the parents, students and teachers that worked together during the project to keep the school community strong. The $52 million project began in January 2018 and was completed in August. Since the renovations began, students have been located at Maury “Village,” trailers on the east side of the Eliot-Hine Middle School campus, located on the 1800 block of Constitution Ave. NE.
“I wish I’d had a facility like this when I grew up,” said Maury parent Philip Yabut. Yabut brought his son to his first day of kindergarten in the new building, staying to photograph the ribbon-cutting. He said when he walked in he was blown away by the light and the nature of the space. “Everyone has their own facilities now,” he said, “the science, art, music teachers. It’s much bigger than the old school.”
Yabut said that he was impressed that the District managed to finish the school on time for students to begin the year in their new school, though he said he was not surprised to have noticed men in hard hats around the school earlier in the day.
Workers were doing final checks on the building, going through the punch list to ensure every detail had been completed as volunteers finished placing books on library shelves.
DGS Director Keith Anderson said that he was proud of the team that completed the building, noting that the team had sought parental input at every step and designed a building with the emotional, social and educational needs of students.
“This is why we do what we do,” he said, “when I saw those students walk in here for the first time, the smile on their faces. They were just spinning all around, looking at everything, smiling.”
The school is one of five schools to have been fully re-modernized for the new school year. The others include Kimball Elementary School, Hyde-Addison Elementary, Ida B. Wells Middle School and Calvin Coolidge High School. They are five of the 18 renovation and construction projects DCPS had in progress between design and construction last year.
Learn more about Maury Elementary by visiting their website at mauryelementary.com