Thayer Academy Middle School Transformation Project

The Thayer Academy Middle School Transformation Project seeks to give physical form to the warm, welcoming, and supportive community already thriving there. While expansion and innovation thread themselves throughout the design plans, the driving force behind the project is connection: among students and classes, among faculty and departments, and with an Upper School which shares its ambitious mission.


Upon completion, the two-story structure will complement the Middle School’s academic rigor and inclusive culture in both form and function. It will feature, among other improvements, an additional Grade 5 classroom, a new dining hall, a digital media classroom, increased space for the arts, and new classrooms for the English and History programs. Three skylights will wash the building in natural light as a large window wall offers views of the Upper School and the Academy’s playing fields. An open Central Hall / Gathering Space with tiered seating will serve as the hub of school activity, creating room for everything from assemblies and classes to snack time and casual conversation. Added interactive spaces, both indoors and outdoors, will reinforce a sense of community.

The Academy began construction in the summer of 2021. The project is slated to be finished in the summer of 2022, and we will begin the 2022-23 school year in the new building.

The Thayer Academy Middle School Transformation Project will enhance program flexibility, scheduling autonomy, and a spirit of true collaboration while making the Middle School itself more visible to the larger community. The end result will be a school reimagined to more fully address the needs and expectations of today’s students and families.

Hear from the Middle School Director


“We hope that with this new building and new spaces for design thinking, it will enable us to vertically align our curriculum so that every student is exposed to design thinking from fifth to eighth grade.” Galen Hamann, Middle School Director

Construction Updates

Click the link below to view the construction plan for the next two weeks. This link will be updated periodically, so please check back to see what to expect on the construction site for the next two weeks.

Explore the Plans

This video walkthrough highlights interesting details of the new Middle School design by Eck MacNeely Architects.

Click below for a “before & after” comparison of Middle School blueprints to better understand the scope of the project. 

Temporary Middle School location at 850 Washington Street

One great advantage to launching the Middle School construction project at this time is the Academy’s access to the former St. Francis of Assisi School, which has fully absorbed the Middle School program for the duration of the work.

The former SFA facility is located at 850 Washington St., just down the street from Thayer’s main campus, and is under lease; the Upper School used it while navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent need for physical distancing. For the Middle School construction period, the facility was completely repurposed to serve only the needs of Academy students in Grades 5 through 8. Those needs include dedicated space for a library, a Collaborative Design Lab (CDL), and the Hale Learning Center.

With its cafeteria, classrooms, stage for performing arts, internet access, and parking, the former SFA site offers a temporary Middle School location well-equipped to meet the needs of our students, faculty, and staff.

blueprint of second floor in purple and yellow
blueprint of floor level with yellow, grey, green and purple colors
blueprint of first level floor with purple, green, yellow and grey
landscape shot of classroom with led lights
landscape shot of classroom with large windows and wood ceiling
landscape shot of wooden room with rectangle windows and people inside

Frequently Asked Questions