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Douglass High School Renovation – Columbia Public Schools2018-02-13T10:12:13+00:00

Project Description

  • Douglass High School Student Center.
  • Douglass High School Computer Lab.
  • Douglass High School Teacher's Break Room.
  • Douglass High School Gymnasium.
  • Douglass High School Classroom.

Douglass High School Renovation – Columbia Public Schools

Douglass High School is Columbia Public School’s  alternative high school, the primary purpose of which is to engage at-risk students so they can complete high school and successfully transition into productive post-secondary occupations. The school, named for abolitionist Frederick Douglass, opened its doors around 1885 and served as the district’s all-black school until 1954. In 2012, CPS decided that the 100+-year-old school required a major renovation if it was to continue to serve the needs of students. Their goal was to create a variety of effective learning environments at the school in an effort to meet the needs of those students who function more effectively in a non-traditional setting.

In 2014, Columbia passed a $50 million bond issue to fund this and other projects throughout the district. In 2016, the building was closed for a year, and students relocated to a temporary space while construction crews gutted most of the building, installed new electrical, heating and air conditioning systems, stair lifts, and flooring. The subsequent renovations added space and equipment for a culinary program and wood and metal shop and stocked the physics and biology classrooms with new equipment and furniture. Because of the building’s age, there were unexpected infrastructure challenges that the design and construction needed to address including asbestos abatement. While most of the building’s interior is new, CPS opted to repair rather than replace a some items with historical significance. Contractors worked around student artwork, repaired plaster walls and the building’s front steps.

Now that the renovation project is complete, CPS Superintendent Peter Stiepleman said, “The district sees Douglass as a place where students who struggle with a traditional school can be successful.  The renovations will help the school accomplish that goal.”

Columbia, Missouri

Project Type:
Education Facility

42,371 gross square feet

Construction Cost:
$6.75 million

August 2017

Facility Highlights:

  • All new finishes, including new lockers and flooring
  • New HVAC system
  • ADA accessibility
  • New kitchen
  • Computer labs
  • Fire suppression system
  • Laboratory science classrooms
  • Practical Arts classrooms, including Culinary Arts
  • Music classroom space
  • New gym floor
  • Masonry restoration, including new front steps
  • New roofing
  • New windows and doors