Teaming Up with Girls Inc. at Central Place

July 12, 2016

Earlier this summer, Jessica Anderson, Yolanda Grate, and I – in collaboration with The JBG Companies and Clark Construction – hosted a site tour and career presentation for girls ages 11 to 15 at Central Place, a mixed-use, high-rise community BBB designed and which is currently under construction in Rosslyn, Virginia. The event was part of a 3-day program organized by Girls Inc., a multi-national non-profit organization that provides girls across the US and Canada with life-changing experiences that empower them to succeed.

Central Place is an amazing project to work on. While the site visits (during which we were “dared” to walk up all 30 stories instead of taking the hoist) offer breathtaking views of DC, it is the project’s strong female leadership that is particularly inspiring to me. A few of the project’s leaders, including Molly Ragliani (Clark, managing construction), Amy Navabi (JBG, managing development), and Jessica Anderson (BBB) were on hand to engage with the 40 young ladies from Girls Inc. during their visit to the construction site.

Before embarking on a tour, we gathered in the conference room of Clark’s office and talked about our respective roles on the project. We discussed the importance of teamwork, collaboration, and coordination in the relationship among JBG, Clark, and BBB – and what exactly each team member did throughout the process. Questions started rolling in and revealed how bright these young girls are. Design process. Iteration. Construction costs. Development challenges. Community input. It was wonderful to witness their enthusiasm. Consequently, some girls expressed interest in pursuing an A/E/C career path.

After the introduction, we geared up with PPE (Personal Protection Equipment), split into smaller groups, and proceeded outside to take a guided tour of the residential tower. We took the hoist up to the 27th floor, which was a thrilling experience for our visitors. Once on the concrete slab, we had fun describing to the girls the work that goes into a residential building before apartments are fit out. We showed them slab depressions where showers would be located, where conduit would be hidden, and how slab openings and pipes sticking through the concrete would allow HVAC ducts and plumbing to move vertically through the building.

Walking out onto the 27th floor terrace, the girls enjoyed a panoramic view of DC amidst an active job site. After learning about the concrete structure and building systems, we walked down to the mock-up unit to learn about finishes. Jess brought some of the construction drawings with her and showed the girls how something two dimensional on paper gets translated into a 3D building, providing a sense of the construction process.

It was a pleasure to welcome Girls Inc. to Central Place, and we hope they can return in the future to see the completed project.