2RiverPCS_School Interior

Two Rivers Public Charter Middle School

Two Rivers Public Charter Middle School

From a Sardine Can to a Mansion

With a middle school that was outgrowing its facility, Two Rivers enlisted Building Hope to manage the creation of a new state-of-the-art campus.

Building Hope’s Role:

Real Estate Development

Location: Washington, DC
Grades Served: 6-8
Number of Students: 250
Square feet of space created: 52,000
Year completed: 2021

2RiverPCS_School Interior
2RiverPCS_School Interior

Focused and Informed

Having that partner was so helpful. They kept the project focused. They also kept me informed.” 

Gail Williams
– Director of Operations, Two Rivers PCS.

As Kids Grow Up, So Must the Classrooms

When its middle school first opened in 2009, Two Rivers Public Charter School seemed prepared. The Washington, DC school averaged about 50 students per grade, meaning a three-grade expansion would require space for 150 seats. Two Rivers built a small building across the street from its first permanent facility north of Capitol Hill, then watched as demand—and enrollment—exploded.

“The building that had made sense in 2009 soon stopped making sense,” says Gail Williams, the school’s operations director. “Middle schoolers are not little people anymore, and now they’re right on top of each other.”

A second elementary campus opened in 2018 at DC’s historic Charles Young School. For the middle school, however, Two Rivers wanted a new, single facility that could hold all their sixth- through eighth-graders. Luckily, the new elementary school was on a massive hilltop campus that gave them plenty of room to expand. The plans would take the middle schoolers, in Williams’ words, “from a sardine can to a mansion.”

Building Hope had delivered Two Rivers’ first elementary school and its first middle school. Now it would manage the new middle school project, which involved both the renovation of two existing buildings and the ground-up construction of a new one. Furthermore, to make improvements at the site, Two Rivers needed approval from DC’s Historic Preservation Office. Over six months, Building Hope helped the school present the project twice to the HPO board and at several Advisory Neighborhood Commission meetings.

With existing space growing ever tighter, Williams relied on Building Hope to maintain the project’s urgency and finish on time. “Having that partner was so helpful,” she says. “They kept the project focused. They also kept me informed. Construction people would come to me speaking construction language—‘we have to move this two degrees’—and I would have to make a decision. [Building Hope] was there to say, ‘Okay, Gail, moving it two degrees means such-and-such.’ ”

“Communicate your needs to Building Hope, and they will help you to make the best, most informed decision possible.”

High Demand

Two Rivers has the longest wait list of any DC charter school — for 2020-21, more than 1,800 students across the two campuses.

Experienced Partners

Communicate your needs to Building Hope, and they will help you to make the best, most informed decision possible.

Gail Williams
Director of Operations, Two Rivers PCS

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