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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 Middle School, Upper School and beyond.

“Since 2016, the Middle School's STEAM by Design program has grown from one group of students to six classes led by three teachers. We are deeply grateful for the DA community's support of this program and the construction of the new STEAM Design Studio. This purpose-designed space will support students' successes while they learn to embrace the inevitable failures that are a part of all educational journeys.”

—  Catherine Hayward, Melissa Mack and Karl Schaefer,
Middle School STEAM Teachers

“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 Teacher


  • 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 14 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.

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All gifts to Durham Academy are tax deductible.