Mayor Gray celebrates opening of new Francis L. Cardozo Education Campus

The Cardozo Education Campus is a brilliant state-of-the-art facility which gives our students the opportunity to learn in an environment designed to help them one day compete on the global stage.
— Former Mayor Vincent C. Gray
Mayor Vincent C. Gray today celebrated the transformation of the historic Cardozo High School into a high-tech educational campus for middle and high-school students. Joined by Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham and DC Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor, Kaya Henderson, Mayor Gray cut the ceremonial ribbon on the new Francis L. Cardozo Education Campus. The modernized and expanded historic campus features two specialized learning academies and a fully restored historic auditorium.

“The Cardozo Education Campus is a brilliant state-of-the-art facility which gives our students the opportunity to learn in an environment designed to help them one day compete on the global stage,” said Mayor Gray. “This modernization project is also one that has focused on restoring Cardozo’s historic elegance, which dates back 100 years.”

The new Cardozo Education Campus, which was first designed a century ago, houses the Academy of Construction and Design, and the TransSTEM Academy. Both academies have expanded and enhanced classroom and laboratory spaces, including a two-story aviation lab, a two-story masonry construction lab and several computer lab spaces.

The modernization project marries both high tech advancements – such as interactive whiteboards, classroom sound enhancement systems, and computer labs – with major renovations to many of the celebrated period features of the original Cardozo, including stone carvings and decorative tile work, an historic lecture classroom, auditorium, and indoor pool.

“The new Cardozo Education Campus is absolutely one of the best school modernizations that we’ve completed so far,” said Chancellor Henderson. “Most importantly, it’s not just an external makeover. I can tell you firsthand that what’s even more beautiful than the building is the learning that’s happening between these new walls. Cardozo is in the midst of a breathtaking transformation.”

Cardozo, originally named Central High School, was designed in 1913 and opened to students in 1916. It was transferred to Cardozo High School in 1950 and was added to the D.C. Inventory of Historic Sites in 1991 and to the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.

“The Department of General Services is proud of the Cardozo modernization, as we have focused on providing students and teachers with a state-of-the-art learning facility while also restoring this historically significant building back to its original glory,” said Brian J. Hanlon, DGS Director.

The new Cardozo Education Campus also features:

Twenty-eight (28) classroom and project labs spaces; seven (7) science classrooms/labs; five (5) classrooms for specialized education; three (3) dedicated spaces for visual and performing arts; and a culinary arts kitchen with classroom space;
A central monumental staircase connecting all academic floors, featuring an oversized collage graphic depicting scenes from Central High School, Cardozo High School and their students;
A new regulation-sized competition gymnasium addition complete with a state-of-the-art fitness center, aerobics and dance studio, activity room, training room and health classrooms all with views of the District’s downtown monuments and skyline;
A fully restored historic auditorium featuring state-of-the-art acoustical and audiovisual design elements;
A new cafeteria central gathering space with flanking skylit atria, created from two existing exterior courtyards, designed for student activities and performances; andAn historic indoor pool, fully renovated for use by both students and the community.

The modernization of Cardozo also incorporates a number of energy-efficient elements including new mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems designed to reduce the energy consumption of the building, along with a “green” roof to aid with stormwater management. The school has been designed to achieve a minimum of LEED Silver for Schools rating.