Gilbane Building Company has announced the Substantial Completion of Phase 1 of the new Minnie Howard Campus for Alexandria City High School. Serving as construction manager at-risk, Gilbane delivered this cutting-edge campus extension, which provides expanded educational opportunities with a focus on career and technical programs.

The $190 million Minnie Howard Campus can accommodate 1,600 students in grades 9-12 and includes spaces for the City of Alexandria Department of Community and Health Services and the Health Department. The 343,000-square-foot facility features specialized classrooms and labs for high-demand fields like firefighting, emergency medical services, nursing, surgical technology, robotics, aerospace, energy efficiency, biomedicine, game design, media, cybersecurity, computer science, and teacher training.

Sustainable design was paramount for the energy-efficient, Net-Zero Ready campus. This is one of the first Net-Zero Ready high school facilities with a natatorium in the nation. In addition to targeting LEED® Gold certification, sustainable highlights include:

  • Geothermal wells
  • Photovoltaic (PV) array ready
  • EV charging stations    
  • Stormwater management system
  • High-Performance envelope

To meet an accelerated schedule, Gilbane implemented a successful fast-track approach. Building off data from the team’s previous Meridian High School project in Virginia. Gilbane thoroughly compared square footage, façade area, and other components to identify an achievable accelerated delivery. As a result, the campus opened three months earlier than the original schedule. An early phase 1 completion allowed teachers and staff ample time to transition before the 2024-2025 school year.

“The Minnie Howard Campus represents the future – merging dynamic CTE programs with sustainable, state-of-the-art facilities,” said Tyler Swartzwelder, Vice President and DC Business Leader at Gilbane Building Company.  “It is a generational project that we are thrilled to have been a part of. ACPS and the City of Alexandria, along with all the partners on the project, have set the new standard for what educational facilities can be.”

The 13-acre campus features core amenities, including a competition gym, natatorium, media center, dining commons, outdoor learning spaces, and early childhood and teen wellness centers. During Phase 2 of the project, Gilbane will demolish the former school and incorporate new athletic fields.

About Gilbane Building Company

Gilbane provides a full slate of construction and facilities-related services – from preconstruction planning and integrated consulting capabilities to comprehensive construction management, general contracting, design-build, and facility management services – for clients across various markets. Founded in 1870 and still a privately held, family-owned company, Gilbane has more than 45 office locations worldwide.

Gilbane has been building in the DMV with a local Arlington office for over 50 years. With a focus on education, Gilbane has completed numerous projects for public, charter, and independent schools throughout the DC metro area. The company is committed to delivering high-quality facilities that meet the unique needs of each institution, fostering an environment where students can succeed. In addition to education, our DC operation actively engages in diverse construction initiatives, including complex deep-hole excavation projects, historic preservation, academic and research facilities, healthcare facility improvements, and cultural, sports, and public performance venues. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.