GCS-SIGAL Starts Work on $82M Duke Ellington School of the Arts Modernization Project

The team of GCS-SIGAL, LLC, a joint-venture partnership between GCS, Inc. and SIGAL Construction Corporation, broke ground on December 19 on the Duke Ellington School for the Arts Modernization Project. Former Mayor Vincent Gray and many other school and local officials were present at the groundbreaking ceremony.

GCS-SIGAL LLC, a joint-venture partnership between GCS Inc. and SIGAL Construction Corp., broke ground on Dec. 19 on the Duke Ellington School for the Arts Modernization Project. Former Mayor Vincent Gray and many other school and local officials were present at the groundbreaking ceremony.

The building is located on 35th Street, in Georgetown’s Burleith neighborhood. Named after composer/musician and D.C. native Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, it was built in 1898 and has since undergone three renovations/major additions. In 2003, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

At a cost of $82 million, the modernization project will expand the historic facility from 176,000 square feet to almost 295,000. Designed by the joint venture LBA/CGS Architects, it will include modern performance spaces for both the visual and performing arts programs. GCS-SIGAL LLC was selected for the project last year.

Plans call for the construction of a four-story atrium, with a new, 850-seat theater right in the middle, as well as large studios, rehearsal spaces, classrooms and labs. The school’s historic original front bar and portico will be preserved and re-established as the main entrance, while the exterior will feature an outdoor amphitheater on the front lawn.

The project is targeting LEED Gold certification. It will implement sustainable building initiatives including green roofs and rainwater cisterning.

Photo credit: dc.gov