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Gateway Center Makes Progress Over Winter Break

Photography by Dave Chandler

Story by Leslie King, Director of Communications

Construction of the new Gateway Center at Durham Academy’s Middle School campus kept CT Wilson’s construction crews busy while school was closed for winter break. The site has transformed over the last few months, with the footprint of the 48,100-square-foot academic center taking shape. Over winter break, crews finished up foundation pours, laid block walls for the foundation and installed PVC pipes for plumbing. The next few months will be marked by the pouring of the foundation slab and erecting structural steel.

The two-story Gateway Center will house core academic classrooms and labs, and will include an administrative wing with integrated student support space. Similar to the Arts & World Languages Center that opened on the Middle School campus in spring 2021, the Gateway Center is organized into distinct areas by academic disciplines, and the two-story commons establishes an energetic Middle School hub. When completed, it will reorient the Middle School’s main entrance from Academy Road to University Drive.

Gateway Center at a Glance

First Floor

Main Middle School entrance/vaulted atrium with access to the quad
4 history classrooms
Middle School administration, school nurse, enrollment management, counselor, security offices, conference room
6 science labs
1 makerspace
Grand staircase/two-story central commons

Second Floor

4 history classrooms
8 math classrooms
1 multipurpose/event space
2-story central commons
Office of Business Affairs offices, Parents Association/board room, meeting/tutoring rooms

The goal is for the Gateway Center to be ready for occupancy in February 2023. The 400 building (two-story building at the rear of campus) and the 300 building (which runs parallel to the library) will then be demolished to complete the Middle School quad in summer 2023. Additional site work will be necessary before the Middle School front entrance can be re-routed to University Drive in summer 2024. 

The urgent need for larger and improved facilities for athletics, physical education and Extended Day, which impacts a wide range of students, dictates that a gymnasium will become Phase 5 of the Middle School campus plan, which begins construction in summer 2024. The new, regulation-size gym will have interior space that will allow an entire grade level of PE classes to operate simultaneously; expand Extended Day facilities; create larger locker rooms; and provide built-in seating for athletics/special events. Phase 6 will involve the library and language arts center, beginning in summer 2025.

For a bird’s eye view of the most recent site work, explore the photos and video below captured by Office of Information Technology team member Dave Chandler. 

The Gateway Center represents Phase 4 of a multi-year plan to transform the Middle School and Upper School campuses:

  • Phase 1: STEM Wing of Upper School STEM & Humanities Center (completed fall 2018)
  • Phase 2: Humanities Wing and Smith Assembly Hall of Upper School STEM & Humanities Center (completed Spring 2019) and K Family Outdoor Commons (completed fall 2019)
  • Phase 3: Middle School Arts & World Languages Center (completed spring 2021)
  • Phase 4: Middle School Gateway Center (tentative completion 2023)
  • Phase 5: Middle School Gymnasium & Extended Day
  • Phase 6: Middle School Library & Language Arts Center

Learn More About the Campus Plan

The Upper School STEM & Humanities Center and K Family Outdoor Commons, and the Middle School Arts & World Languages Center were made possible by a combination of financing and fundraising, including some of the largest philanthropic gifts DA has ever received. DA’s goal is to raise $4.3 million to complete a $22 million campaign to transform the entire Middle School campus. The school looks forward to inviting the broader community to learn more about supporting these campus transformations this fall. These facilities will foster unlimited potential for DA students and teachers to fulfill their promise for the future.