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Atlanta’s David T. Howard School completes redesign and rehabilitation project

The original school’s alumni includes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Walt Frazier.

February 10, 2021 |
David T. Howard School exterior rehabilitation in Atlanta

All photos: Willett Photography

Stevens & Wilkinson has successfully completed a $52 million renovation and expansion project of the David T. Howard School. The school was originally opened in 1924, closing 52 years later in 1976.

The rehabilitation project began in 2017 and included the renovation of the existing 100,000-sf historic classroom building as well as 108,000 sf of new construction. The new construction will include an administrative wing based on an original design element that was never built, a four-level classroom addition, a media center, an auditorium, a music wing, and a kitchen and cafeteria.


Howard Middle School exterior adddition


The original buildings historic features, including brick details, interior plaster, and terrazzo materials, were maintained. The new addition connects to the existing building with elements that keep the existing building’s brick visible and joins all the building’s components. 


David T Howard school interior hallway


Also included in the project was a significant renovation of the existing gymnasium. The gym’s original steel windows were refurbished, the gym and stage floors were replaced with a wooden sports floor, the original brushed aluminum high bay light fixtures were refitted with high output LEDs, the original wood benches on steel brackets were lightly sanded and sealed, and the locker rooms were redesigned to provide modern facilities and a weight room.


David T. Howard School gymnasium and stage after rehabilitation


The completed school is a four-story concrete frame building with brick cladding. The floor plan is a “U” shape with corridors connecting the classroom wings. Four stair towers, one at each corner of the building, are expressed on the exterior by taller walls and decorative brick and stone details. The main entrances along the bottom of the “U” are identified by decorative brick and stone details as well.

In addition to Stevens & Wilkinson serving as the lead architecture and engineering firm, Lord Aeck Sargent provided historic rehabilitation, landscape design, and building skin design.


David T. Howard School music wing


David T. Howard School media center and hallway


David T. Howard School cafeteria

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