Partnership with Newman Architects: Creating a Modern Space for Learning

Creative Minds International Public Charter School is partnering with Newman Architects to develop Creative Minds’ historic building into a modern space for learning.

Our school building, which boasts tall windows, high ceilings, and abundant natural light, sits on the campus of the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, DC, and dates back to the mid nineteenth century. Creative Minds students have been known to call the Norman Gothic–style building “the castle.”

As part of our strategic plan for the future of Creative Minds, we’ll work with Newman Architects on both a short-term plan and a long-term plan for our building. The short-term plan has two objectives:

  1. Add 6,100 square feet of additional space (three classrooms and one common space) on the ground floor of Sherman North. Our goal is to have these spaces ready for the first day of the 2020–21 school year.
  2. Add improvements in security, sound baffling, and lighting, such as bringing natural light into the hallways. We’ve received a SOAR grant to support these upgrades.

Our long-term objective is to develop a plan that allows for unified, consistent upgrades and improvements to be completed in phases.

The ideas and opinions of Creative Minds families are vital to the future of our school, and we’ll be providing opportunities for families to help shape this project.

Newman Architects is an award-winning architectural and planning firm guided by the philosophy that “what we create should improve the lives of the people, society at large, and the environment.” Read more about the firm, its work on historic schools, and its philosophy.

If you have questions about the exciting changes planned for our building, please email Heather Hesslink, director of operations and compliance, at