Gilford Corporation served as General Contractor for the complete renovation of the historic former Wilson Teachers’ College Building, constructed in the early 1900s. This 82,000 sf (plus basement) was later used by the University of the District of Columbia but had been shuttered for a number of years.
The renovated building accommodates an enrollment of 1,000 students plus day care facilities. In addition to refitting classrooms, computer labs, miscellaneous specialty spaces, and administrative offices, the project encompassed installing an elevator, building-out a 420-seat auditorium/theater, and a commercial kitchen with facilities to serve 600 people.
The project began with a complete interior demolition and hazardous materials abatement. Facility infrastructure work included installing new plumbing, HVAC, and sprinkler systems; complete new electrical, fire, and security systems; as well as sound systems and digital communications. Interior construction included four different types of ceiling systems, and eight different types of flooring. Exterior work encompassed installing new thermal windows; cleaning, re-pointing, and repairing masonry on all exterior services; providing new site utilities; and constructing a new parking lot with six-foot decorative fence.
Renovating a structure that was built in the early 1900s presented many challenges. As unforeseen items and conditions were uncovered, the team met to discuss the best way to resolve and implement solutions. Noteworthy was the discovery of a key system flooring structure that required extensive steel modifications to allow for MEP penetrations.