Walker Jones Education Campus is located along New Jersey Avenue, 10 blocks north of the US Capitol in Washington, DC and is a cornerstone of the Northwest One Masterplan aiming to revitalize this part of the District, historically plagued by high crime and poverty. The new consolidated school serves 850 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grades. Integrated into the neighborhood context, the building fronts New Jersey Avenue to the west and borders the north and south edges of the 4.5-acre parcel, creating a protected courtyard that opens to the playfields and neighborhood beyond. In addition to this shared open space, a 20,000 square-foot Community Recreation Center and a Public Library serve neighborhood residents and foster civic-mindedness.
The location and orientation of the building on an extremely tight, urban site required a creative response to successfully address programmatic and sustainable demands while also respecting the Northwest One Master Plan parameters.
While a larger scale urban gesture was made on the New Jersey Avenue side, the school, recreation center and library are accessed from the calmer streets of the neighborhood. Hord Coplan Macht’s architects and landscape architects used the tight, urban site to connect the school visually and physically to the neighborhood. The design was reviewed with all major DC agencies, including: the Commission of Fine Arts, DCRA, Maryland-National Capitol Planning Commission, BZA, DDOT, DDOE, DC Public Schools, and the Office of the Deputy Mayor.
Walker Jones is a replacement facility and the first new school under Mayor Fenty’s administration required to pursue a LEED for Schools rating. The project is certified Silver in the LEED for Schools 2007 rating system. Sustainable Strategies include: community connectivity, brownfield redevelopment, alternative transportation, joint use of facilities, green roof, 32.5% modeled water use reduction, 19.1% modeled Energy Savings, certified wood, low emitting materials, 12% recycled content, 17% regional materials, and 87% construction waste management.