The construction of the Entertainment and Sports Arena (ESA), located in the heart of Washington DC’s Ward 8, is having a significant, positive impact on the local community.
The ESA project has employed 177 Washington DC residents, of which 72 are from Wards 7 & 8. This represents wages of $1.8M, or 42% of the non-DC resident wages! In addition to the utilization of the existing DC workforce, our team has worked diligently to ensure that this project serves as an opportunity for new careers. New hires and apprentices reap some of the greatest benefits as they begin in this exciting career track. To date, there have been 89 District resident new hires on this project, and DC Apprentices have put in nearly 30,000 hours of work.
Over 65% of the project was constructed by DC businesses, including major trades like Earthwork & Utilities (JJ Prime, Ward 7), Structural Concrete (Saxon Construction, Ward 8), Masonry (JPN Masonry, Ward 3), Miscellaneous Metals (Moxy Miscellaneous Metals, Ward 8), Mechanical & Plumbing (R&R Mechanical, Ward 5), Roofing (HRGM, Ward 8) and Glass/Curtain Wall (Innovo Construction, Ward 4); and finish trades like Drywall (P&D Contractors, Ward 4), Painting (Precision Wall Tech, Ward 8), Tile (Koydol, Ward 4), and Flooring (B&B Floor Services, Ward 7).
The Entertainment and Sports Arena is a 4,200 seat arena on the St. Elizabeth’s campus in Congress Heights. Built by Smoot Gilbane Sports, A Joint Venture (SG), this arena will be owned and operated by Events DC and will host the first WNBA-dedicated facility in the league for the Washington Mystics and as a state-of-the-art training center for the Washington Wizards. It will also serve as a premier entertainment venue for concerts, e-sports tournaments, boxing matches, and more. Go Mystics/Wizards/Go-Gos!
Ever since its grand opening in September of 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) has stood as a gleaming bulwark of a vital part of America’s national story. No mere receptacle for artifacts, the building itself teems with historical resonances. Its bronze-hued corona echoes traditional Nigerian designs, the transparent walls of its entry level set it in conversation with the nearby Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial, and the wending ramp of its lower floors reflects the unsteady path of progress throughout history.
With all these allusions to pick apart, it can be easy to miss another striking element of the museum: its emphasis on eco-friendliness. Subtly and in many cases quite cleverly, the design of the museum avoids resource waste without diminishing the visitor experience or imperiling its artifacts. Making an environmentally conscious building required commitment from the outset, and now that commitment has paid off: on April 16, the African American History Museum was officially awarded a Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. In the architecture business, this type of recognition is tantamount to an eco-Oscar.
By Ryan P. Smith
Smoot DC and its joint venture partner are managing construction efforts to renovate and transform Washington’s Central Public Library. A facility originally designed by Mies van der Rohe, it is the modern master’s only realized library and only project in DC. With its historic exterior, the MLK Library restoration is an internationally important test case of how a landmark modernist structure can be sensitively transformed to accommodate the features and spaces of a 21st century central library.
Leading Smoot’s team is Project Manager Jeff Tilton who is overseeing the complex restoration efforts. The library is Jeff’s third major historic restoration project for Smoot after successful restorations of the U.S. Capitol Dome and National Gallery of Art East Building.
When completed in 2020, the transformed library will house a spectacular new, vibrant and transparent entryway; sculptured monumental stairs; large auditorium and conference center; creative spaces for fabrication, music production and art creation; ground level café with patio; double-height reading room; newly designed special collections space for researchers and research enthusiasts, and a roof top event space with terrace.