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Intelsat Building In Van Ness To Be Converted To 2,500-Student Private School

Intelstat building 4000 Connecticut Ave. NW
The former Intelstat HQ at 4000 Connecticut Ave. NW

The recognizable former Intelsat headquarters in Northwest D.C.'s Van Ness neighborhood will soon be home to the first campus of a new, global private school.

Whittle School & Studios, which describes itself as the world's first global school, plans to convert the 600K SF building at 4000 Connecticut Ave. NW into a school for 2,500 students.

The school was founded by Chris Whittle, an educational entrepreneur who previously led New York-based private school system Avenues: The World School, a for-profit school with a similar mission to Whittle School & Studios. The Whittle School will teach students from age 3 to 18 and will offer boarding and commuting options. It is expected to open in fall 2019 along with another Whittle School campus in Shenzhen, China. Whittle ultimately plans to open campuses in more than 30 cities.

Renowned architect Renzo Piano, who designed The Shard in London and the New York Times building in Manhattan, will design the renovation of the Intelsat building, his first project in D.C. The school did not disclose the projected cost of the renovation, but the Washington Post reported it is expected to cost about $185M. 

Intelsat, a satellite services provider, sold the building in 2012 for $85M to New York-based The 601 Cos. ahead of its move to Tysons. The property sits just south of the University of the District of Columbia and a short walk from the Van Ness-UDC Metro station.