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 plans to start construction this summer (2021). The project is slated to be finished one year later, 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
Former St. Francis of Assisi School
to serve as temporary Middle School
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 will be able to fully absorb 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 already under lease; the Upper School uses it while navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent need for physical distancing. During the Middle School construction period, however, the facility would be 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.
- What is the status of the Middle School Transformation Project?
- Where will Middle School classes be conducted while construction occurs?
- When will the project be complete?
- What are the drop-off and pickup plans for cars and buses next year?
- What types of facilities will be available at the SFA site? Will there be a Collaborative Design Lab (CDL), science labs, library, and Hale Learning Center?
- Can you describe the building layout?
- Where will students have lunch?
- What are the plans for the theater program?
- What are the plans for sports?