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Dunbar Senior High School

Perkins Eastman, Moody Nolan

Project Status


Year Completed



280,000 sq. feet

Construction Cost

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Project Description

From Perkins Eastman:

The competition-winning design for the new Dunbar High School is inspired by the cherished 1917 building that served the school before its demolition in the 1970s, while its 21st-century learning environments look to the future. The entry plaza is designed to signify the seriousness of purpose of the institution, and the adjacent academic wing, characterized by bay windows and towers, is reminiscent of the historic building.

The new armory of the historic Dunbar provides the inspiration for the principal organizing element of the school’s interior: an atrium-like armory that is the “heart of the school,” connecting the academic wing, sports fields, gym, pool, auditorium, and cafeteria seating areas. The academic wing provides state-of-the-art flexible learning environments that accommodate four distinct academies, breaking down the scale of the 280,000 sf, 1,100-student school. Faculty offices integrated into each level ensure positive interaction between faculty and students throughout the school.

The school is designed to achieve LEED for Schools Platinum certification, featuring a ground source heat pump (geothermal) system, a 500,000 kW photovoltaic array, two 20,000-gallon cisterns for reusing rainwater, enhanced acoustics, low VOC materials, and plentiful daylight and views.
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