On Tuesday, November 5, 2019, with the day off school, students from the Washington Liberty High School Mentor Team attended a construction site visit to the MLK Library Renovation located at 901 G St NW in Washington, D.C. The building serves as the headquarters for the DC public library system and is a rare example of modern architecture in DC, especially when it was built in 1972. The construction project includes a total renovation of the building with both architectural and structural upgrades and a total replacement of the building’s electrical and mechanical systems. Some key points of the project are the addition of a new floor on top of the building, the addition of a two-story auditorium, and the replacement of all 4 building cores, including two new monumental staircases. The group of 12 toured all 8 floors of the building, including the lowest level which houses the building’s major mechanical equipment. 5 of
the students had toured the project during the previous year’s field trip and were fortunate enough to see all the changes that 11 months and 550,000 man hours brings to a project of this scale. The students were even able to see a demonstration of how a sprinkler system works. Several students said they are more interested in entering the built industry after attending the site visit. Everyone on the field trip really enjoyed the behind the scenes tour of a construction site and learned a lot about how much really goes into building a building. The project is a joint venture between Smoot Construction and Gilbane Building Company. The site visit was led by Jonathan Hrehor, Superintendent at Gilbane, and a lead mentor at Washington Liberty.