Mayor Gray Announces Teams to Redevelop Historic Stevens School in West End

1050 21st Street, NW

From the Mayor’s office:

Mayor Vincent C. Gray today announced the selection of the Akridge-Argos development team and Ivymount Schools and Programs to redevelop the historic Stevens School in the West End neighborhood of Ward 2. The two teams bring extensive commercial-development and educational expertise to the project, assuring a productive use for a building that has been vacant since the close of the 2008 school year.

“My administration has worked closely with West End residents and Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2A to ensure that we made positive choices for the future of the Thaddeus Stevens School building,” said Mayor Gray. “We believe that Akridge-Argos and Ivymount are well-respected institutions with proven track records of success that will turn this unique development opportunity into a victory for economic growth and special education here in the District.”

Akridge-Argos’s proposed vision for developing the site includes a 10-story, LEED-certified, Class “A” office building named Thaddeus Stevens Place; ground-floor retail; and underground parking. The Akridge-Argos team brings with it decades of development experience. It also has a strong track record of high-quality historic renovation. The team has demonstrated the skills and experience to lead an outstanding rehabilitation of the Stevens School building, as well as constructing a state-of-the art office building to go alongside it.

“We look forward to our continued work with Akridge-Argos/Ivymount, the Stevens School community and with our Council as we navigate through the surplus, disposition and legislative processes needed to make this project a reality,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Victor L. Hoskins.

Ivymount Schools and Programs is a high-quality provider of special-education services that has partnered with the D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) for many years. Ivymount’s proposal for the Stevens School parcel consists of approximately 50 seats for special-needs students and a proposed capacity-building program in partnership with DCPS and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). Founded in 1961, Ivymount has served over 8,000 children and young adults with disabilities from throughout the Greater Washington area. The school has been awarded several prestigious honors, including twice being named a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education and being named a School of Excellence by the National Association of Special Education Teachers.

“Ivymount Schools and Programs will be an incredible asset to the D.C. community and help us to meet the demand for high-quality educational services for our children and youth with autism,” said Deputy Mayor for Education De’Shawn Wright. “Additionally, the establishment of Ivymount within the District provides a unique opportunity for a robust partnership with DCPS and public charter schools as they seek to improve their capacity to serve a broader spectrum of kids across the special-needs continuum.”

The Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School is located at 1050 21st Street NW. The Stevens building was built in 1868 as one of the District’s first publicly funded schools for African-American children. The school was named for Thaddeus Stevens (1792-1868), a Pennsylvania congressman and prominent abolitionist who championed “free schools” for all. DCPS students in the area now attend the nearby Francis-Stevens Education Campus, located at 2425 N Street NW.

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