The modernized Historic Randle Highlands Early Learning Center consists of 21,2000-SF spread over three floors. The modernization has brought a historic resource that had been shuttered for more than 20 years back into educational service accommodating more than 112 PK students in 11 new classrooms. The building also houses an infant and toddler childcare center that is operated by a community-based provider.
Completed on behalf of the Department of General Services (DGS) and DCPS, the project is the result of an ambitious $11.5 million design-build effort. HCM worked closely with the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and the DC Historic Preservation office to obtain approvals to restore much of the exterior and to build a new modernist glass entrance vestibule.
The original Elizabethan style 1911 brick and limestone structure has been renovated and application has been made for it to be added to the Register of Historic Buildings. The renovation also includes the addition of 2 new playgrounds, a covered walk and an outdoor seating area. Two new pieces of original art were commissioned for the project. One, outside the new main entrance, is a 10’ sculpture by Colin Selig while inside there is a feature of 3D ‘water pebbles’ by Karen Pobatsching on the wall of the Welcome Center.
Additional features of the project include the preservation of one of the original historic classrooms, the restoration of the original interior staircases with colored glass, the integration of themed biophilic graphics that celebrate the Potomac watershed as well as the addition of state-of-the-art technology in all learning environments. The facility has been designed to achieve the LEED Gold certification standard.