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Photos: How the redo of Martin Luther King Jr.’s former O4W school is shaping up

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The new Howard Middle School has topped out, on track for a fall 2020 debut

An aging red-brick building is fronted by the steel frame of new construction.
The project is on track to be ready for next fall.
Photos: Sean Keenan, Curbed Atlanta

By this time next year, Atlanta middle-schoolers could be heading to class in a reimagined building that was once the stomping grounds of local icons Martin Luther King Jr., Maynard Jackson, and Walt Frazier.

It’s been more than 40 years since the old building—formerly the David T. Howard High School, and an elementary school before that—has seen Atlanta youths marching down its halls, and it’d since fallen into disrepair.

Last year, however, Atlanta Public Schools began a more than $50 million renovation of the historic structure that’s expanding the institution and turning it into the new Howard Middle School, part of the system’s Grady cluster.

Last week, APS officials, future students, and alumni celebrated the topping out of new structures at Howard, according to Atlanta INtown.

A steel frame of a building stands over lumber and construction vehicles.
As the APS student body grows, more classroom space is needed.

Plenty of work remains before the campus is ready for its planned August 2020 reopening, but construction efforts are plainly visible from the Old Fourth Ward streets surrounding it.

New parking lots have been built, new buildings—or the frames of them, at least—are standing immediately to the south and west of the original red-brick structure, and other updates are well underway.

Have a gander at the progress in these photos below.

The four-story steel frame stands next to a blue, windowless structure in front of the street.
The view from near where Howell and Irwin streets meet.
The blue structure is at the right of the old red-brick building, which is undergoing restoration.
As seen from John Wesley Dobbs Avenue.
The old building is at the left, standing over red dirt, and the Atlanta skyline is visible in the background beneath overcast clouds.
Another view from John Wesley Dobbs Avenue, looking west.
Another view of the old brick building, surrounded by construction fencing and equipment.
Construction activity surrounds the long-dormant property.
Construction materials cover one of the new parking lots.
Building materials cover one of the new parking lots.
A scaffolding wrapped around the building. Yellow construction vehicles are on red clay out front.
How the building looked in September 2018.
A architect rendering of a beautiful, renovated Howard Middle School.
A rendering of the vision for Howard Middle School, from John Wesley Dobbs Avenue.
ATLsuper Blog
Another architect rendering of the to-be remodeled Howard High School ATLsuper Blog