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.
This yearlong construction project is slated to begin this summer with a new facility ready by the fall of 2022. Should construction be delayed until next summer because of COVID-19 uncertainties, the opening would move to September 2023. That decision will be made in the coming weeks.
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 Head of School
“It’s going to be a wonderful thing for our students, and I think it’s going to build further upon the traditions that have been so exciting and enriching at Thayer Academy.” Ted Koskores '70 P '10, '13, Head of School
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 856 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 and a Collaborative Design Lab (CDL).
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.