Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 School

Alexandria Public Schools

A New Neighbor in Old Town

The Jefferson-Houston PK-8 School, built in the shadow of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, is one of just four “failing” schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  With the state prepared to take over operation of the school, the APS administration committed to building this ambitious new facility in which students follow an International Baccalaureate curriculum.  The school and the school design focus on the whole child, and simultaneously offer universal design features that support the school’s large population of multiple-disability children. 

The design team inspired and designed a first-of-its-kind food service model that prepares school food centrally and delivers fresh food to each classroom pod, allowing students to dine in their own multi-purpose extended learning areas. The school and school grounds also serve this urban community’s extensive need for indoor and outdoor shared-use facilities.

Architect of Record   Steve Davis, with VMDO Architects


Project Facts

127,000 GSF


Completed August 2014

Energy Use: Modeled at 33.1 kBTU/gsf/yr

First year’s usage not yet available

Awards and Recognition

Outstanding Project, Learning by Design

Certified LEED Gold

Platinum Design Award | Virginia School Boards Association

Best School Project | AGC Washington DC Chapter



“Health and Education”, featured in Architectural Products Magazine