McKinley Middle School

Washington, District of Columbia


District of Columbia Department of General Services


62,000 sq.ft.

Total Cost


Completion Date


The District of Columbia Public Schools’ envisioned creating a state-of-the-art STEM middle school within a vacant, historic classroom wing. The result is one of the city’s most successful and inspired adaptive reuse projects, earning DCPS its first LEED-CI Platinum certification for a building renovation. McKinley Middle School showcases advanced instructional technology, collaborative learning environments, sustainable construction, and the innovative use of contemporary, affordable materials.
McKinley Middle School features 60,000 square feet of flexible classrooms, laboratories and student galleries within a circa-1926 Neo-Georgian wing on the western edge of the McKinley High School campus in northeast Washington, D.C. This stately structure now houses a lively and robust learning environment that focuses on project-based learning in science and technology and emphasizes interdisciplinary and cross-cultural learning, critical thinking, collaboration, personal achievement and inspiration for lifelong learning. The STEM middle school program is the first of its kind in the city.
The school’s technology and furnishings support mobile computing and multiple classroom and laboratory configurations. Classroom design, lighting, acoustics, and voice amplification are designed to enhance communications in active, project-based learning environments. An emphasis on transparency includes large expanses of glass along hallways for views into laboratory spaces, inspiring students and fostering interdisciplinary learning.
Other highlights of the design-build project:
• Spacious student galleries, with hallways designed to showcase student work with display cases, digital signage, and a variety of video media formats.
• An engineering lab with overhead distribution of compressed air and power, mobile workstations, and lab tables that students can use while standing or sitting.
• Creative use of materials, including custom-designed CNC milled wainscot panels depicting molecular patterns and 3form illuminated paneling.
• Bold graphic design, including a vibrant visual identity for the school and large-scale images of inventors and icons of science and technology.

Additional Information



Cost per Sq Ft



Middle School Citation

Featured in

2015 Architectural Portfolio

Product suppliers specified

Carpet by Shaw
Carpet by Spectrum
Flooring by Armstrong World Industries
Flooring by Johnsonite
Cabinets by Wisconsin Bench
Ceilings by USG
Ceramic Tile by Dal-Tile
Door Hardware by Schlage
Door Hardware by Von Duprin
Door Hardware by Ives
Door Hardware by Glynn-Johnson
Doors by Graham Wood Doors
Doors by CECO Door
Elevators by Otis Elevator
Insulation by GreenGuard
Insulation by Owens Corning
Movable Partitions/Walls by DORMA Architectural Hardware
Hand-Drying Equipment by Excel Dryer
Washroom Accessories by Bobrick
Washroom Fixtures by Kohler
Washroom Fixtures by Sloan Valve
Lighting & Accessories by Beta-Calco
Movable Partitions/Walls by Modernfold
Paint/Wallcoverings by Sherwin-Williams
Lighting & Accessories by Focal Point
Locks by Schlage
Locks by Von Duprin
Locks by Ives
Locks by Glynn-Johnson
Classroom Furniture by KI
Computer Furniture by KI
Library/Media Center Furniture by KI
Drinking Fountains by Elkay
Cabinets by Leonard Peterson & Co
Library/Media Center Furniture by Russwood
Lounge Furniture by KI
Office Furniture by KI
Office Furniture by Dauphin
Science Furniture by Leonard Peterson & Co
Washroom/Shower Partitions by Scranton Products
Clocks/Time Management by Bogen Communications
HVAC Units by Trane
HVAC Control Devices by Carrier
Draperies/Blinds by Draper
Lockers by Art Metal Products
Door Hardware by LCN Closers
Door Hardware by Pemko
Door Hardware by Rockwood
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