DAVIS Construction gifts a new all-gender shower and changing room to the High School.
As we speak, a team from DAVIS Construction is installing final plumbing fixtures and tile for a new all-gender restroom facility with shower/changing room at the GDS High School. Once completed, the room will provide an essential access space for transgender, gender-fluid, and gender-nonconforming members of our community to shower and change. It will be critical that our community respect this space as intended to serve the needs of those in and beyond our community who often do not encounter spaces that honor or protect their identity or identity journey.
GDS's assistant head of school for equity and social impact, Crissy Cáceres, described an impactful moment of engagement with the team from DAVIS in one of GDS’s earliest encounters with the company. “As part of our process, the team from DAVIS needed to learn more about our mission—to understand who we are as a school and community. To make concrete the truth of our social justice mission, it’s important to connect with specific stories and real needs of human beings. I needed to provide an example of a challenge we were facing that was at the intersection of the physical plant and our mission to respect everyone’s dignity and identity. I remember explaining that no student should experience feeling the burden of a choice to limit their experiences as a GDS student—participating on an athletics team, for example—due to structural limitations."
That evening, Crissy received a letter from DAVIS Construction explaining how the story had truly touched their team and punctuated the mission. They offered to give GDS just such a space, free of charge. DAVIS assembled a team of architects, engineers, and contractors to transform an existing space in our High School.
Vice president Matt Weirich spoke to us this week in anticipation of the all-gender restroom completion. He explained, “Early on in this process, we learned of GDS’s passion and emphasis on inclusion and equity. It was very clear to us that GDS cares deeply about providing an environment where all voices are valued, where success is a result of teamwork. At DAVIS, we feel the same way. We have recently rebranded our motto, or tag line, to read: ‘Redefining the way people experience construction by building success for all.’ We don’t succeed unless everyone succeeds, including our clients. That includes those our clients serve, which in this case would be GDS’s students. We hope that having this facility will help to ease anxieties a student may have and allow them to focus on academics, friendships, extra-curricular activities, and creating great memories that will last a lifetime. We also hope that providing this small but meaningful room will have a lasting, positive impact on the community. We have a great opportunity here to teach and grow beyond the walls of construction, and we hope that this simple gesture can help to do that.”
The new facility is an important example of a partnership between a company and a school realizing a mission to benefit community and some of its more vulnerable members. DAVIS Construction has committed to ensuring the facility meets or exceeds Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations; therefore, engineers determined that the foundation would not accommodate the necessary square footage beside the existing locker rooms. Community members will find the restroom on L1 near the athletic director’s office.
As a result of a true partnership with GDS, DAVIS Construction is now part of more than just walls. The project reflects the care that they put into creating functional and meaningful spaces. We trust that this space will be respected and cared for as one that will continue to serve the needs of all transgender, gender-fluid, and gender-nonconforming members of our community who may also continue to use the existing restrooms and locker rooms for the gender with which they identify.
Georgetown Day School is a coed, preK-12, non-sectarian private school in Washington, DC with small class sizes and a diverse school community. Our comprehensive, innovative curriculum includes hands-on learning, honors and AP classes, as well as advanced-level math and STEM courses. An education is not just college prep and SAT scores. GDS teachers focus on providing the best education for each child, from elementary grades through high school. The school performing arts program includes theater, dance, and music. The athletics program offers competitive sports for student athletes, including cross-country, track, soccer, lacrosse, and crew/rowing. With our strong commitment to financial aid, an independent school tuition is affordable.