A Middle School by Design

 

 

We are setting the stage for exploration, inspiration and independence.

Beyond the Threshold’s $22 million capital projects goal reimagines the first campus that Durham Academy built from the ground up. It will become an oasis for intellectual growth and curiosity, supporting 10-year-olds to teens in reaching their fullest potential.

The middle school experience is critical to the academic and personal development of every child. Students’ early adolescent years represent a time of tremendous growth and discovery, with deeper exploration of their academic, extracurricular and personal interests. It’s a pivotal moment in their future, and your investment supports our commitment to excellence, to our faculty, and to creating outstanding learner-focused centers for academics, arts and athletics.

Your participation in Beyond the Threshold is an investment in an exceptional educational experience, creating unlimited possibilities for every DA teacher and student, preparing them for success in Upper School and beyond.

 

Arts & World Languages Center, Gateway Center and Gymnasium

2019–2025
  • Reimagines campus with learner-focused architecture specifically for Middle School students.

  • Facilitates student and faculty collaboration, with academic subjects clustered by discipline.

  • Provides larger, flexible classroom space to support future programming and innovation. 

  • Preserves open campus, maximizes natural space. 

  • Eases navigation, creates new front door to welcome visitors into new heart of campus, creates safer traffic flow and full accessibility. 

  • Increases security with fewer exterior access points. 

Arts & World Languages Center
  • 42,000 square feet of performance and classroom space supports student talent and inspires artistic development with a dynamic performance stage, spacious art studios and soundproofed classrooms and rehearsal areas. 

Gateway Center
  • 48,000-square-foot interdisciplinary learning environment supports science, math and history with fourteen state-of-the-art classrooms and labs, a makerspace, student services and a variety of gathering spaces for collaboration.

Middle School Gymnasium/Extended Day
  • New, regulation-size gym with built-in seating accommodates games and special events, doubles the amount of PE space. 

  • Renovation of the existing gym expands DA Extended Day space.

In Our New Spaces

“Gateway Center’s science classes will have close proximity and access to the maker space, allowing us to incorporate more engineering and design principles, student collaboration and group work that fosters the creativity needed for the scientific process.”

Dr. Gerty Ward
Middle School Science Academic Leader

“The need for the Arts & World Languages Center was tremendous. For us to have all world languages classrooms under one roof with dedicated space for my advisees to have storage has been huge.”

Teresa Engebretsen
Middle School French Teacher

“Horton Hall has totally changed the student experience by having a space that’s designed for them and the work that we do. It is so exciting to see that our school wants to support the arts by providing this space for our students.”

Ellen Brown
Middle School Theatre

“We are building new spaces full of purpose-driven classrooms that will allow each teacher to teach their subject with creativity, imagination and innovation. Durham Academy Middle Schoolers now have the space to explore and embrace these subjects.”

Laura Virkler '91
P '23 '26, Chair of Buildings and Grounds Committee


Our Capital Projects Progress

Amount Needed to Reach Our Capital Projects Goal: $3,036,977

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Our community is coming together to create a tomorrow that transcends any threshold. 
Naming opportunities are available.

     


Step Inside the Middle School

Arts & World Languages Center

A spacious, light-filled art studio and soundproofed rehearsal studios for band, chorus and theatre support experiential learning essential to the DA experience.

Horton Hall Performing Arts Center

Horton Hall is the new heart of campus, with adaptable configurations to be able to host live performances, rehearsals, student assemblies and community events.

Gateway Center: History, Math & Science

The Gateway Center welcomes visitors to the Middle School. For the first time, all grade levels of history, math and science will be housed together, creating collaborative opportunities for teachers and students.

Gymnasium & Extended Day Center

A regulation-size gym for competition and practice supports the growth of Middle School athletes and increases space for PE classes and after school programming. 

     

Middle School Campus Plan

     


 


Support Beyond the Threshold

All gifts to Durham Academy are tax deductible.