Location and Facility

Thurgood Marshall Academy BuildingThurgood Marshall Academy has a newly-renovated, state-of-the-art building with 21 classrooms, a spectacular library that can hold 10,000 volumes, an outdoor classroom, and a moot courtroom. We offer this facility to other community groups when school is not in session. If your organization would like to meet at Thurgood Marshall Academy, please call (202) 563-6862.


On October 18, 2005, Thurgood Marshall Academy inaugurated its new home in the renovated and expanded Nichols Avenue School building in southeast Washington, DC. Our law-related college-preparatory school opened its doors in 2001 in the annex to the Congress Heights United Methodist Church, but we quickly outgrew this community landmark. In order to realize a full high school program serving more than 300 students, Thurgood Marshall Academy’s leaders worked with District officials, the federal government, and leaders in the private sector to revitalize the long-vacant Nichols property. The resulting state-of-the-art facility features a moot courtroom, spacious classrooms, modern science laboratories, and ample resources.

Thurgood Marshall Academy’s home sits on approximately one acre of land across the street from the Anacostia Metrorail station at the gateway to Historic Anacostia. The building constitutes the perfect home for Thurgood Marshall Academy, given its proximity to the homes of Thurgood Marshall Academy students and families as well as its accessibility by Metro to the school’s roughly 200 volunteers from throughout the city.

In October 2003, the District of Columbia entered into an agreement to sell the Nichols property to Thurgood Marshall Academy. In June 2004, the city approved the school’s Development Plan, and on October 5, 2004, school and civic leaders held a groundbreaking ceremony.

The commitment of the District of Columbia government, the US Congress, and the private sector made the project possible. Former DC Mayor Anthony Williams worked with the school to realize the facility renovation, and the visionary commitment of Senator Mary Landrieu (D–LA) and Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D–DC) resulted in an initial federal grant of $1 million to help acquire and renovate the property. In the years since, Thurgood Marshall Academy has raised an additional $13.5 million in grants and loans from the DC government, businesses, and foundations, allowing us to fully renovate the former Nichols Avenue School building.

Phase II Gymnasium Project

The new school sits next to the District of Columbia Public Schools’ A. Kiger Savoy Elementary school, with which Thurgood Marshall Academy created a community educational campus centrally located in an area of DC poised for economic and community development. Thurgood Marshall Academy worked with DCPS to develop a full-size gymnasium that is used jointly by TMA, Savoy Elementary School, and the community. Access to a first-rate gymnasium has increased increase the per-pupil space available to Thurgood Marshall Academy students, a factor critical in model education programs. The gym has allowed the school to expand its unique programs and services, and provides a space where the entire student body can assemble. The gymnasium officially opened in December 2009.

Old Facility New Facility
10 classrooms for 226 students;
no specialized spaces
21 classrooms for a capacity of 400 students, including specialized spaces
No law-related room Moot courtroom
No resources Library & Media Studies Center designed to hold 10,000 volumes
No science labs 3 labs specialized for biology, chemistry, and physics
No teacher preparation spaces or conference rooms Teacher preparation spaces or conference rooms on each floor
Minimal technlogy lab State-of-the-art technology lab
No outdoor space Green spaces that support learning and recreation and a basketball court

Other Unique Features of the Project

  • The renovation returned a century-old community landmark to its intended use.
  • The project included improvements to the adjacent A. Kiger Savoy Elementary School site and playground.
  • The project was realized through unprecedented and innovative public-private school planning and funding.

Facts about the Facility

  • The addition to the school has approximately 43,200 new bricks weighing a total of 86.4 tons, as well as 62.7 tons of steel.
  • The facility has over 16,200 feet, or 3.2 miles, of new wood trim.
  • The project restored 8,240 square feet of original heart-of-pine wood floors.
  • 3,764 cubic feet of soil were removed to lower the cafeteria floor 2 feet and build new foundation footings.
  • There are 161 new doors throughout the school building.
  • The renovation and addition entailed the installation of 139 new windows.
  • There are 734 lights throughout the school building.

Historic Anacostia

Thurgood Marshall Academy is located in Washington, DC at the gateway to Anacostia, a historic African-American neighborhood. Abolitionist Frederick Douglass lived in Anacostia, which was one of the first homesteads established by the Freedman’s Bureau for newly freed slaves. To learn more about Anacostia’s rich and diverse history, visit the Anacostia MuseumCultural Tourism DC, or the National Register of Historic Places.