STEM, innovation center will foster design, entrepreneurial, collaborative skills
The Greenhill School has launched a $71 million fundraising campaign and broken ground on a new STEM and Innovation center.
Over the next five years, the Growing Stronger Together campaign will address several needs on campus, including athletic enhancements and endowment funding.
The 52,000-square-foot Valdes STEM + Innovation Center, designed by architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ), will make room for a modest increase in grades five through 12 while bringing several disciplines into the same building for the first time. It is expected to open in the fall of 2023.
The building, going up on the site of the former Agnich Science Building, will include an innovation corridor with collaboration space, a production studio, and fabrication lab, computer science flex pods, and robotics labs, plus fully flexible math and science classrooms, a central commons and coffee shop, and community gathering spaces.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for our students to learn how to be better designers, to learn innovative mindsets, to develop entrepreneurship skills, to practice that in real-world settings,” said Lee Hark, The David and Rochelle Fredston Head of School. “We’re really excited about the kind of learning that’s going to catalyze on our campus.”
Part of Greenhill’s mission is college preparation. The new facility and programs are a large part of students becoming exposed to and comfortable in college training, mindsets, and facility settings. Programs like the innovation design and entrepreneurship programs will give students the skill set they need to thrive in their endeavors after their time at Greenhill.
“This program is meant to help the kids to be prepared for the jobs of the future – the jobs that we don’t know exist yet,” said Kendra Grace, associate head of school.
The school is well on its way toward raising the funds needed so the campus can meet the needs of the students not only through academics and the arts but through athletic enhancements as well, she said. Donors have given nearly $45 million to date.
Added Hark, “Our board took a courageous step to move forward, even in the middle of COVID, to launch this campaign.”