River Terrace Education Campus
Washington, District of Columbia
Renovations to the River Terrace Education Campus created a highly specialized environment to serve students with profound intellectual disabilities, medical complexities, visual or hearing impairment and autism. The project adapted a former traditional elementary school to house specialized classrooms, a life skills suite, sensory rooms, medical/dental suites and an ASSOCIATED FIRMBryant Mitchell Architects, PLLC (Architect of Record), GCS (Contractor)COST PER SQ FT$435.00FEATURED IN2016 Educational Interiors ShowcaseINTERIOR CATEGORYSpecial-Needs Interiors therapy pool. The facility supports services such as technology integration, aquatic therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, behavior therapy, life skills and career skills.
The design places special emphasis on how River Terrace students experience their environment. A one-story addition creates an enclosed courtyard with wheelchair paths, sculptural elements and musical instruments. A small addition near the courtyard establishes a winter garden with grow lights and low planting beds so that students can see, touch and smell nature throughout the year.
The design addresses the history of the River Terrace campus and incorporates strategies with a goal of achieving LEED Gold certification. Sustainable elements include the conversion of the school’s abandoned smokestack to serve as a structural element supporting a helical wind turbine.