The ribbon was cut on the newly modernized Eliot Hine Middle School (1830 Constitution Ave. NE) Monday, celebrating not only the new building but also the first day of school at DC Public Schools (DCPS) on Aug. 30.
The 157,000 square foot renovation began in 2017 with construction starting in 2018 More than 300 students returned to the building Aug. 30, said mayor Bowser.
It was the first time many of them were in the Elliot Hine building and the first time that seventh graders would learn in a middle school building, said Principal Marlene Magrino as she welcomed scholars back to class at the event.
At the event, eighth grader Marcus said he’s excited and nervous about the start of school—but not about COVID. “I’m actually getting vaccinated like a week from now,” he said through his mask.
For Marcus, the new school year brings a wave of firsts. He graduated Maury ES before the renovation, missing out on the new building, so this will be his first time in a new school. “It’s like a butterfly feeling in my stomach,” he said. “At the same time I don’t have to wear a uniform, so I’m like, ‘yay!'”
Marcus and his peers will be the first senior class to use the new facilities, which include a new gym, a renovated broadcast media classroom, a full-sized baseball field that can convert to a soccer field, and two new basketball courts. The existing 1930s structure was fully renovated and the 1950s wing replaced by the new addition. Department of General Services (DGS) Director Keith A. Anderson said the project is expected to receive LEEDS God certification.
Bowser said that DC would open 11 new school facilities this school year.
Prior to cutting the ribbon, Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen (D) said the community had fought hard for the work that was done. “What you see today is what can be accomplished when the will, the vision and the excitement for students and teacher comes together,” he said.
Parents and staff had advocated for years to advance the renovation, originally scheduled to begin in 2019. Prior to the start of the construction project at Eliot Hine, the school was used as a swing space for other schools undergoing construction. The school hosted students during the 2017 renovation of Watkins Elementary School (420 12th St. SE) and a small village was established on the grounds for hundreds of additional students during the 2018-19 renovation of Maury Elementary School (1250 Constitution Ave. NE).
Mayor Bowser was joined by Councilmember Allen, Deputy Mayor of Education (DME) Paul Kihn, and acting State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) Christina Grant.
Learn more about Eliot-Hine Middle School at www.eliothinemiddleschool.org