Cardozo High Getting $100 Million Makeover

School is historic for its architecture

By Tom Sherwood
|  Monday, Nov 14, 2011  |  Updated 7:18 PM EDT
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Cardozo High School in Columbia Heights will close next month for a 20-month renovation project that will bring big changes to the 95-year-old building.

Tom Sherwood

Cardozo High School in Columbia Heights will close next month for a 20-month renovation project that will bring big changes to the 95-year-old building.

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For 95 years Cardozo High School in northwest D.C. has been welcoming students to a campus that sits high on a hill overlooking downtown Washington, but for decades, the school has been a rundown mess. Now, it's getting a $100 million makeover.

Cardozo, which opened in 1916, is on the National Register of Historic Places for its architecture, but for decades on the inside, it's been a rundown facility where 600 students overlook conditions to get an education.

The school closes in December for a 20-month renovation that will for the first time give the school a regulation-size gym. A new cafeteria also is in the plan.

Ground was broken Monday.

Frazier O'Leary, who has taught English at Cardozo for 34 years and also coaches the baseball team, said most students overcome a bad school building, but the renovations are a long time coming.

From December until fall 2013, the 600 students will take classes down the street at an old elementary school.

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