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MMD’s Tony Newman Speaks to AIA NOVA
25 March, 2021

MMD’s Tony Newman Speaks to AIA NOVA


Architect Tony Newman addressed the membership of AIA Northern Virginia on March 18, with a presentation on MMD’s work in charter school design. Tony was the featured speaker at the organization’s monthly meeting.

Among other topics, Tony discussed community engagement, design constraints and progress on the Friendship Public Charter School organization’s Southeast Academy Middle School in Washington, DC. MMD is the architect working with the Friendship organization on design initiatives for a number of its campuses across the city.

The new building will have a student capacity of 325 and will include ten classrooms, six offices, a gymnasium and an aerial pedestrian bridge connecting this facility to the existing elementary school. Tony shared sketches that were used early in the design process to convey design concepts and also engage the community, and showed the progression from concept to final, approved design. The facility is currently under construction.

Friendship is one of the District of Columbia’s largest and highest-performing public charter school networks, with 16 schools serving over 4,500 students in prekindergarten through 12th grade.

The organization, founded in 1997 to fill a need to serve underserved communities, provides a world-class education that prepares students for college success and a career of their choice. Its mission:

“Friendship empowers students to achieve high academic standards, enjoy learning, and develop as ethical, well-rounded and self-sufficient citizens who contribute actively to their communities.”

100% of Friendship’s high school graduates go on to attend a four-year college or other institute of higher learning and its early college program allows students to earn college credit while attending high school.