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New Outdoor Commons Completes Upper School Campus

K Family Outdoor Commons

Four years ago, Durham Academy launched a strategic plan to create spaces that would provide cutting-edge teaching and learning experiences at the Upper School, spaces where students could build community. A milestone was reached on Nov. 7: After four years of planning, design and construction, a reimagined Upper School campus was complete. The first part of that plan — an interdisciplinary STEM & Humanities Center with shared departmental offices and a dynamic indoor assembly space — was built in stages, with the STEM wing opening in August 2018 and the humanities wing in April 2019.

The last piece of the puzzle, an outdoor commons built in the footprint of the double-decker building, opened to students on Nov. 7 in a celebration recognizing the hard work and philanthropic support that went into moving a reimagined Upper School campus from the boardroom and the drawing board, to design and reality.

The opening celebration of the K Family Outdoor Commons also recognized the incredible generosity of the Krzyzewski family in supporting DA’s commitment to excellence as the lead donors for the outdoor commons. The terraced outdoor amphitheater — stepped seating, a brick pavilion and covered performance space, a multipurpose recreational space complete with a ceremonially appropriate basketball hoop and umbrella picnic tables — opens the Upper School campus to a beautiful, panoramic view of DA’s athletic fields. The Krzyzewski family joins dozens of leadership donors who have helped make the Upper School’s dreams come true.

STEM & Humanities Center

Photo by Keith Isaacs


STEM & Humanities Center Assembly Space

Photo by Keith Isaacs