Forgive the pounding of hammers and the whine of saws at 125 North Hilton Street. They are uncovering a lost jewel of a school. The former Gwynns Falls Park Junior High School was poorly maintained and was closed in 1985. When it was built in 1926, it was the most expensive Baltimore city public school with large windows, two hour fire walls, beautiful floors and an indoor courtyard. This renovation will feature breakout rooms, white boards, technology studios, community and career centers, a green roof, hanging plants, gardens and aquaponics. The eight acre site offers space for play, greenhouses and reaches the Gwynns Falls stream.
The price? At $23 million dollars for 145,000 square feet, its cost ($158.62) per square foot is almost half the average estimated cost for the 21st Century Building project in Baltimore ($309).
By moving the school closer to its students and bus routes, the school helps its students get to school easier.
Perhaps most importantly, the school intends to involve its students in the design of the school, giving them a chance to learn about and help create their own school.
Baltimore City Public Schools….are you listening and learning?