The new Dunbar Senior High School, certified LEED Platinum, provides a high-performance learning environment designed to catalyze the renewal of one of our most historic schools. Founded in 1870, Dunbar was the country’s first high school for African Americans and its alumni include people of extraordinary accomplishment. The challenge was to create a facility that honors this notable heritage while looking to the future. The design is inspired by the school’s now-cherished 1917 building, demolished in the 1970s. Like its historic predecessor, the new building reengages the community by establishing an inviting civic presence and by reopening a closed street as a sustainable model. The entry plaza was 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. In addition, the design reimagines the 1917 building’s centrally located armory as the heart of the school. Throughout, Dunbar’s heritage is celebrated through plaques and supergraphics featuring particularly accomplished alumni and a museum, located just inside the main entrance, documenting the legacy of Dunbar High School and its impact on education and African Americans. While metaphorically building on history, the new building is decidedly 21st century, fostering four academies and encouraging active community use. Certified LEED Platinum, some of its prominent sustainable design features include: Washington, DC's largest “geothermal” system (located beneath the athletic field), a 482 kW photovoltaic array (provided through the District's first power purchase agreement), two 20,000-gallon cisterns for water reclamation, enhanced acoustics, low-VOC materials, and plentiful daylight and views.