Richard Wright PCS graduation

Richard Wright PCS for Journalism and Media Arts

Richard Wright PCS for Journalism and Media Arts

A Campus That Communicates

Richard Wright Public Charter Schools aimed to offer a state-of-the-art media education to students from all over Washington, DC. Building Hope helped them get creative.
Building Hope’s Role:

Financing | Real Estate Development

Location: Washington, DC
Grades Served: 8 – 12
Number of Students: 400
Square feet of space created: 32,900
Year completed: 2020

Richard Wright PCS student and teacher
Richard Wright PCS student and teacher
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Over 10 years, a great relationship!

They are a great organization, especially for those individuals who are new to this….It’s just been a great relationship! Dr. Marco Clark Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Richard Wright PCS

At a School for Storytelling, the Narrative Starts with a Strong Partnership

Dr. Marco Clark had a unique, ambitious vision for Richard Wright Public Charter Schools for Journalism and Media Arts. He connected with Building Hope to find a facility where his vision could become a reality.

Clark wanted to provide (typically underserved) D.C. students with an education that emphasized cutting-edge journalism and media. He named the school, which he founded in 2010, for the influential African American writer and activist.

“We wanted to create [communicators] that could actually go back and change their communities,” he explains. “They could develop skills for writing and 21st-century technology to tell a different story than what was being told by mainstream media.” 

Fortunately, Clark recognized the key to achieving this tremendous task. “We created great partnerships. And those partners included Building Hope, who has helped us since our inception.”

First, Building Hope obtained temporary spaces for Richard Wright PCS. Then the Real Estate and Finance teams went to work on securing both a facility that could serve the school’s mission, and the financing for it.

Working with the school’s leadership, they found a six-floor office building in Southwest Washington—near the National Mall, but also convenient students from all around the District. Richard Wright PCS acquired a 50-year ground lease on the building. Extensive renovations began shortly afterward, with Building Hope providing a portion of the loan and two of its partner organizations (City First Bank and OSSE) supplying the rest. To make it more affordable for Richard Wright PCS, Building Hope also arranged a sublease of the building’s ground floor to a charter preschool.

Today, Richard Wright PCS has a state-of-the-art, LEED-certified facility. It includes recording, radio, dance and graphic design studios; a green screen filming room; a media library; and interactive SMART boards in every classroom. Building Hope’s experts offered their own ideas to complement the school’s vision and produce a space that is, in Clark’s words, “second to none.”
“I would tell any charter school founder to get to know Building Hope,” he adds. “They are a great organization, especially for those individuals who are new to this…. It’s just been a great relationship.”

Since 2015, Richard Wright has boasted graduation rates of 90% or higher. Moreover, the school’s graduation requirements include admission to least five four-year colleges and universities, resulting in 100% of graduates transitioning to college. For Richard Wright PCS’s media students, that’s how their high school story ends and a new chapter begins.

RICHARD WRIGHT PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL

97% African American and 75% at-risk
25% special education
100% free and reduced lunch

Since 2015, a 90% or higher graduation rate and a 100% transition to college.

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Get to know Building Hope.

I would tell any charter school founder to get to know Building Hope. We created great partners. And those partners included Building Hope, who has helped us since our inception. Dr. Marco Clark
Chief Executive Officer, Richard Wright PCS
Richard Wright PCS student and teacher
Richard Wright PCS student and teacher
RW PCS_ Teacher
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