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Suitland architect selected

  • Written by  Candace Rojo Keyes, courtesy photo
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PGCPS LOGO 2017 COLORUPPER MARLBORO — The plans for a new Suitland High School continue to roll on as the school system announces the project finally has an architect.

Last week Elizabeth Chaisson, a capital improvements officer with Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS), said the system was excited to announce that Cox Graae + Spack Architects were selected as the vendor for the Suitland High School project.

“We have hired the architect, so we’re very excited,” she said during the May 10 Prince George’s County Board of Education meeting.

Cox Graae +Spack are known especially for designing the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., but have also worked on projects such as Eastern High School and the Washington Theological Union in D.C., as well as Potomac Upper School and The Madeira School both in McLean, Va.

Chaisson said the architects are gearing up to conduct a feasibility study at the high school and consider the options for the campus. That process is expected to begin this week.

As the school system moves forward with the renovation or possible replacement of the high school, Chaisson said the entire campus of the high school and neighboring Drew Freeman Middle School will be considered for options.

“We think of it as one campus, because Drew Freeman is adjacent to Suitland,” Chaisson said. “They will look at all of the buildings and assess all of the buildings for the feasibility of whether they can be renovated or they need to be replaced.”

Over the next several months the school system and the architects will meet with the community committee on the project and will weigh options.

One concern moving forward for District 7 Councilwoman Karen Toles, who represents the Suitland area, is the idea of moving the performing arts program out of the school and creating a new performing arts academy in the Suitland Town Center.

“The community and myself are looking to have that school stay right where it is, to be developed onsite … (and) we should not move the VPA program away from the school,” she said.

The feasibility study will take approximately four to six months.

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