GCS, Inc.

GCS Finishes Construction of River Terrace Education Campus

Washington, DC, August 2015— GCS, Inc. has completed the 40,000 SF modernization and 37,700 SF expansion of the River Terrace Education Campus. The design-build project, which now serves up to 160 students ages 3 through 21 with exceptional needs and profound intellectual disabilities, will consolidate the special education programs from Sharpe Health School and Mamie D. Lee School.

To accomplish the goal of the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) to consolidate Sharpe Health School and Mamie D. Lee School into one school at the River Terrace Elementary School site, the DC Department of General Services (DGS) selected GCS, Inc. for the design-build project.

The new state-of-the-art facility is a zero barrier environment designed and constructed with the needs of its occupants and their helpers of foremost consideration. Light harvesting, Bluetooth connectivity to hearing devices, soft floors, color selection, furniture, accessibility, and special-equipped amenities are standard throughout the new campus. All the materials, color selections, furniture, and fixtures were selected with specific goals and educational philosophy in mind. The building layout creates a mixture of public and private areas that serve to improve and assist in the education of the school’s occupants; these spaces are used as a tool as much as traditional classroom fixtures.

The campus includes typical education facilities (classrooms, media center, cafeteria, and gymnasium) as well as specialized amenities, including health suites, an occupational therapy suite with a therapy pool, music, art, and sensory rooms, and assisted living quarters where students learn how to live independently.

The Workforce Development Center, housed in the new portion of the campus, offers specialized training to older students in the fields of hospitality administration, health assistance, and horticulture. Facilities for the Development Center include a new horticulture center with outdoor gardens and green house, as well as mock hotel facilities such as mail rooms, laundry facilities, and registration desks. Students from the Workforce Development Center practice their skills both at school and in the workforce through partnerships with several large local corporations.

The project team included DGS, GCS, Inc., and project architects Bryant Mitchell Architects and Fanning Howey. River Terrace Education Campus is targeting LEED for Schools Gold certification.

About GCS, Inc.
Founded in 1986, GCS, Inc. is a Certified Business Enterprise (CBE) in the District of Columbia. GCS’ services include project and construction management in addition to general construction services. A leading force in the Construction Management and Design-Build arena, GCS has a staff of over fifty project managers, superintendents, carpenters, and laborers. GCS has a proven track record of successfully complying with and exceeding the economic inclusion requirements for CBE, the First Source Employment Agreement, and the Apprenticeship Act. In addition to recruiting and retaining residents of our nation’s capital (including returning citizens), GCS supports many programs tailored in training and educating the District’s youth through the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation, including the Cardozo Construction Academy House Project. To learn more about GCS, Inc., please visit http://www.gcs-dc.com.

About The Department of General Services
The mission of the Department of General Services is to elevate the quality of life for the District with superior construction, first-rate maintenance and expert real estate management. By building and maintaining safe and green state-of-the-art facilities that foster economic growth and elevate educational environments, our trusted and skillful employees create modern and vibrant communities across the District of Columbia.

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