News Post

DA FĂȘtes New Upper School STEM Facility
DA FĂȘtes New Upper School STEM Facility


From Preschoolers who will frequent the halls of the new Upper School STEM and Humanities Center in a decade, to alumni, parents and faculty who understand just how great of an impact the new building will have on learning, STEM enthusiasts of all ages marveled as they wandered the halls of the new state-of-the-art building on Aug. 20. They gathered for a ribbon-cutting celebrating the completion of the STEM wing of the two-story, 46,000-square-foot facility. 

The construction project has been overseen by C.T. Wilson Construction Company, of which Charlie Wilson '89 is president. In addition, alumna Susan Easterling '00, principal engineer with Gardner & McDaniel engineering firm, has worked on the project.

The building includes science, robotics and math classrooms and labs outfitted with the latest in safety mechanisms; a plethora of small meeting/study rooms; a greenhouse; faculty offices; an elevator; and a large makerspace.

On Aug. 21, the first day of the 2018–2019 school year, Upper Schoolers began learning in the new space as construction crews continued work on the second phase of the project: a humanities wing that will include classrooms for English and history classes and a two-story central interior commons. 

At the ribbon-cutting, Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner expressed gratitude for the "visionary trustees and parents" who in the late 1960s and early 1970s dreamt of building an Upper School for Durham Academy students — and then did just that. Among the buildings that the STEM and Humanities Center is replacing is the original science building constructed in the '70s, as well as a physics building added in the 1990s.

For more on those "visionary trustees and parents" and others who have helped steer DA's evolution through the years, see the "Building Philanthropy" feature in the summer 2018 issue of Durham Academy Magazine

View photos from the ribbon-cutting on Flickr.

Learn more about the Upper School STEM and Humanities Center and the Middle School campus plan at