It looks like the new tenants at 4000 Connecticut will be carrying backpacks instead of briefcases.
In 2019, five years after Intelsat moved out of its “Space Age crystal palace,” a private Chinese-language immersion school intends to move in.
The school will serve students ages 3 to 18. The founder, Chris Whittle, is an education entrepreneur whose interests have included the Edison Schools, a for-profit public charter school operator, and Avenues: The World School.
This school will be more like the latter. Whittle gave a tour of the building and details of his plans to The Washington Post:
The campus aims to enroll 2,500 students within five years of opening at a tuition comparable to what elite private schools charge in the Washington area. (Sidwell Friends, with about 1,150 students, costs $40,840 a year.) About 500 are expected to live in dormitories, and the rest will be day students. Some scholarships will be available, but the target audience is hardly the typical D.C. family.
The Post says the Intelsat building will undergo an $185 million renovation, under the direction of architect Renzo Piano, who designed the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
A former ANC commissioner thought the former Intelsat headquarters would be a great place for a tech incubator.
Intelsat was considered – and rejected – as a potential swing space for the Murch Elementary renovation, scheduled to be completed in July. The school set up just down Van Ness Street instead, in a trailer complex on one of UDC’s soccer fields.