The Baltimore Ravens unveiled Monday their completed $1.5 million renovation project at Renaissance Academy High School in Baltimore City. The Ravens decided to fund the restoration after multiple news stories highlighted the students’ and community’s dedication to the school, amid fears it would be forced to close.
Ravens president Dick Cass, TE Benjamin Watson and Ravens Ring of Honor member Ed Reed joined Baltimore City mayor Catherine Pugh, CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises and University of Maryland, Baltimore president Jay Perman to highlight improvements made to the high school over the past several months.
Some of the reconstruction highlights at Renaissance Academy include:
– Large classrooms modified to increase office space for social workers and mentors who need private facilities to efficiently provide counseling services to students
– New food pantry and laundry room to provide critical resources for students in need
– A new and inviting lobby at the school’s entranceway
– Updated science and art rooms
– Cosmetic and beautification projects completed throughout the school, including fresh painting, new lighting and graphics, which feature impactful and inspirational quotes
– A large student common area designed for studying and socializing among classmates
Renaissance Academy was founded in 2005 with the vision of establishing a high school that would serve students from all over the city and offer a college preparatory curriculum. In 2006, Renaissance moved to its current location at the historic Booker T. Washington School Campus in West Baltimore. After a few violent instances occurred in the Renaissance community over the past several years, officials believed this renovation would provide the school with the fresh start it needed to help students succeed.
“Thanks to the courageous investment from the Baltimore Ravens, there is no doubt that the children in this school and in this beloved community will deliver equal returns,” Nikkia Rowe, principal of Renaissance Academy said. “At Renaissance, we always speak to ‘changing the outcome,’ and we are humbled by the leap of faith taken by the entire Ravens organization.”
Several Ravens partners also helped with the execution of the school renovation:
JRS Architects, led by co-founder Ana Castro, worked to design not only aesthetic improvements to the school, but also functional spaces that can be fully-maximized by students and school administrators. Commercial Construction completed all construction work at the school and helped to ensure that the project was completed on time for the new school year. Additionally, HDC Real Estate Project Management, which oversaw construction of the project on behalf of the Ravens, and Venable, which provided legal services to the Ravens in connection with the project, provided their assistance on a pro bono basis.
The school transformation continues the Ravens’ long-standing commitment to making a difference in their Baltimore community.