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Mayor Bowser Cuts the Ribbons on Modernized Calvin Coolidge High School and Ida B. Wells Middle School

Saturday, August 24, 2019

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser cut the ribbons at the modernized Calvin Coolidge High School and the new Ida B. Wells Middle School in Ward 4. Mayor Bowser’s investments have modernized 26 DCPS schools, and she has committed more than $1.3 billion over the next six years for continued modernization of DCPS schools. In addition to Coolidge and Ida B. Wells, three other modernized schools are opening this school year.

“This is a big day for the Ward 4 community as we celebrate not just a renovated Calvin Coolidge High School complete with a new Early College Academy, but also the addition of the brand-new Ida B. Wells Middle School,” said Mayor Bowser. “Realizing the potential of this site and the goals of this community is something I have been proud to work on since my days on the Council. Today, we are delivering the schools our students and families both asked for and deserve.”

The $158 million investment in new construction and renovations at Coolidge High School included the addition of Ida B. Wells Middle School. The reimagined Coolidge includes state-of-the-art spaces for the school’s Health Sciences Academy and Mass Media Academy, updated performance art and music spaces, including a renovated historic theater, a new daycare, and a community health center. Wells is built to serve up to 550 students, and includes state-of-the-art science spaces, new classrooms, a historic courtyard that was converted into an atrium for expanded programming, and a separate entrance for the middle school students.

“This modernization will expose our students to new and unique learning opportunities in a state-of-the-art environment,” said DCPS Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee. “I am thrilled about this tremendous investment in our young people and excited about how Ida B. Wells and Coolidge will set them up for success in the years to come.”

In addition to the Mass Media and Health Sciences Academies, Coolidge will open with an all new Early College Academy. Through a partnership with Trinity Washington University, students will gain the valuable experience of attending classes on a college campus while earning their high school diploma and up to an Associate's degree.

“The modernization work our team has completed at Coolidge High School and the new Ida B. Wells Middle School is going to positively impact student’s lives for years to come,” said Keith A. Anderson, Director of the Department of General Services. “We know these structures will strengthen and build opportunities in the community as well.”

Ida B. Wells will open with a sixth-grade class and will add a grade each year until it is a full sixth through eighth grade middle school in School Year 2021-2022. This past March, Mayor Bowser proposed naming DCPS’ newest standalone middle school after investigative journalist and civil rights activists Ida B. Wells. Her name was chosen by the community after a months-long engagement process. The school will serve the Brightwood Education Campus, LaSalle-Backus Education Campus, Takoma Education Campus, and Whittier Education Campus school communities.

On Monday, Mayor Bowser will kick off School Year 2019-2020 and cut the ribbon on two additional modernized DCPS schools: Maury Elementary School, and Kimball Elementary School. Mayor Bowser will also celebrate the opening of Bard DC, a new DCPS high school in Ward 7, which will provide students with two years of college courses through an early college program.