February 11, 2019
Newport News, Virginia
This morning, Hampton Roads Academy celebrated the start of construction for the largest expansion project in their 59-year history. Rain did not dampen the enthusiasm! Hampton Roads Academy Headmaster Peter W. Mertz, Campaign Chair Wendy Drucker ‘76, Board of Trustees Chair Alison V. Lennarz and student leaders from each division donned hard hats and wielded shovels in a symbolic gesture commemorating the start of construction for the new facility.
Students, faculty, staff, donors and invited guests joined the celebration. They shared their excitement over the changes and improvements coming to HRA: A new dining hall, a new Lower School wing, an Innovation Lab/Makerspace, and a unique hydroponics lab.
Hampton Roads Academy has been working with W. M. Jordan Company and James River Architects to design and build this project. Project team members were on hand to mark the occasion.
Fostering a sense of community and closeness is a hallmark of HRA. Students will be able to gather as a community and break bread together in the new state-of-the-art, 400-seat dining hall with a full-service professional kitchen. Every student will have access to a daily selection of healthy meals, reflecting the school’s commitment to healthy bodies and healthy minds.
The new Lower School wing will have 12 large, bright classrooms. A flexible Innovation Lab/Makerspace is a central feature, designed for enhanced 21st-century learning opportunities.
A 1,000-square-foot hydroponics laboratory will connect the dining hall and classroom wing. This lab will be used for innovative academic lessons. Students can grow their own food, using vertical growing towers. The leafy salad vegetables will be served in HRA’s dining hall, and HRA plans to donate extra produce to local food banks, supporting HRA’s focus on community service.
Stay tuned for updates as construction continues!