Transforming the Upper School Experience



We are fostering innovation and imagination critical for 21st century careers.

Beyond the Threshold’s $22 million capital projects goal includes donor support for projects that enhance the Upper School experience for every teacher and student.

Great teaching requires great resources. Every student at Durham Academy is guided and mentored by exceptional teachers, and Beyond the Threshold enables them to learn without limits. Now our students and teachers have intentional, state-of-the-art learning environments supporting innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to engineering, science, technology, math, the humanities and fostering a collaborative community.

Your participation in Beyond the Threshold is an investment in an exceptional educational experience, creating unlimited possibilities for every DA teacher and student, now and in the future.

STEM & Humanities Center and K Family Outdoor Commons

Completed 2019
  • Creates innovative, spacious, safe learning environments specifically designed for current and future needs

  • Adds 44,200 sq. ft. of space with academic and social benefits

  • Brings academic disciplines together and fosters cross-disciplinary collaboration

  • STEM wing houses biology, chemistry, physics, robotics and math classes, innovation studio and group study/work spaces

  • Humanities wing houses English and history classes, two-story commons with seating for 125, seminar-style classrooms and departmental offices

  • Outdoor commons includes an amphitheater and pavilion for studying, dining, performances and gatherings 

  • Completes Upper School Master Plan and provides campuswide accessibility

In Our New Spaces

“We have our family here, the team. We're here during lunch. We're talking about cool robot stuff during tutorial. We use it as our community center. And that's really special to me.”

Ella Simmons '23
DARC SIDE Robotics Team Member, FIRST Robotics Dean's List Semifinalist

“DA's humanities classes have pushed me to consider the real-world applications of every part of my educational experience, from the complexities of human evolution to 18th century portrayals of feminism."

Mukta Dharmapurikar '22
2022 Scholastic Art & Writing Gold Medal Recipient

"K Family Commons made all the difference in the world. We were able to keep making music in a safe way through the entire last year and a half. This has been the multipurpose space that it was envisioned to be in the first place."

Mike Meyer
Upper School Music Director

“Smith Hall is a special place because I know I will always see a familiar face. I often find myself going out of my way to go there knowing I will leave with a smile!”

Charles McCain '22
Peer Educator, 2022 Morehead-Cain Scholar

Our Capital Projects Progress

Amount Needed to Reach Our Capital Projects Goal: $1,691,223


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


Step Inside the Upper School


A state-of-the-art fabrication lab is home to DA’s robotics classes and World Championship-qualifying FIRST Robotics Competition team.


From engineering and programming, to collaboration and problem-solving, students learn valuable design-thinking skills to solve real-world problems.

Lab Sciences

New collaborative science labs support inquiry-based approaches to advanced courses in biology, chemistry and physics and project-based introductions to environmental sustainability.

Math/Humanities Classrooms

A mix of larger classrooms and smaller seminar space provides flexibility for group work and discussion-based classes.

Smith Hall

This two-story commons hosts presentations, meetings for entire grade levels and informal student-teacher interactions.

K Family Outdoor Commons

A terraced, outdoor amphitheater and pavilion for students to enjoy musical performances and dining has proven invaluable over the past two years.


Support Beyond the Threshold

All gifts to Durham Academy are tax deductible.