WSG groundbreaking at THEARC

WC Smith Celebrates Groundbreaking for Phase IV of THEARC

WC Smith, Building Bridges Across the River and the Washington School for Girls on May 1 broke ground on a 33,000 square foot expansion at THEARC, to be the new home for the independent Catholic school.

Currently, WSG’s student population is split between two campuses with middle schoolers attending classes at THEARC and third through fifth graders attending at the View campus on Morris Road SE. The new building’s size and design will allow for the instruction and advancement for all 100 current students – and up to 150 students in the future – to take place in one location.

WSG is a tuition-free school that primarily serves girls living in DC’s Wards 7 & 8.

WC Smith has provided pro-bono development services; WCS Construction is leading the construction efforts. WSG’s new home will be the fourth major structure at THEARC, providing students with continued access to enjoy the benefits of the multi-sector collaboration between 14 nonprofit partners in one centralized location.

The construction plans call for a three-story building between THEARC’s east and west buildings, opening in the rear onto green space and THEARC Farm. Along with 14 bright and spacious classrooms, highlights will include a multipurpose space serving as a cafeteria and auditorium, an expansive library/media lab, a science lab, a makerspace/STEM lab, and a flexible art/music/dance area.

The building will also offer an important connection to the natural environment with access to an outdoor learning space and tying the curriculum to the THEARC Farm.  With the building design, WSG has committed to the highest standards of environmental stewardship with solar panels, a green roof and will seek LEED Silver certification.

WSG is one of the original nonprofit partners at THEARC. WC Smith Chair and CEO Chris Smith founded Building Bridges and THEARC; Smith is the chair of the Building Bridges Board.

“Putting shovels in the ground for phase four of THEARC to benefit every WSG student and raise the bar for the school as a whole is remarkable, and such an impactful milestone in our vision for the space,” Smith said. “This building is not only about vastly improved functionality, but about creating a vibrant environment that will inspire, uplift, and connect within WSG’s larger mission of equity. We’re elated to do this project at THEARC.”