Building Our Future

Distinctive Learning Environment

While it's true that learning can take place just about anywhere, students and faculty thrive when they work in spaces that fully support innovative and creative academic programming. As part of the Strategic Plan process, the school community expressed a desire to ensure we continue to offer our students a distinctive and sustainable learning environment.

A Three-Phased Plan to Meet Strategic Priorities

Three-Phase Plan Overview
Three-Phase plan for future-ready learning spaces, to include The Purdy Center for Science and Mathematics, Dowd Student Center with new Upper and Lower School cafeterias, and new Upper and Lower School learning centers to include Extended Day.
Purdy Center for Science and Mathematics overview
Designed to drive innovative instruction and research, the Purdy Center for Science and Mathematics will provide the latest technology in lab, classroom, and collaborative learning spaces to meet the growing demand for high-level math and science courses and experiences.
Dowd Student Center
The Dowd Student Center will be a focal point for all students on Cannon Campus and will provide flexible, multiuse spaces for students and teachers to interact and collaborate, as well as much-needed contemporary dining areas that promote nutritional health and overall wellness for our community.

The Board of Trustees approved a long-range master facilities plan to create a distinctive and innovative learning environment, strengthen community, and prepare students for a fast-changing global society. These capital projects surfaced as priorities:

Phase I: January 2017-August 2018

Construction of Purdy Center for Science and Mathematics and Hance Lower School Learning Center

January 2017—Board of Trustees approves Phase I construction
June 2017—Construction on Purdy Center for Science and Mathematics and Hance Lower School Learning Center begins. 
August 2018—New buildings open! Upper School science and math programs move into new Purdy Center; Lower School programs move into the new Hance Lower School Learning Center.

Phase II: June 2018-August 2019

Renovation of current Upper and Lower School Learning Centers into Dowd Student Center (cafeteria and new academic area)

January 2018—Board of Trustees approves Phase II construction
Summer 2018—Upper School library is relocated temporarily to Hance Fine Arts Center. Renovation begins.
August 2019—Newly renovated building opens! New dining spaces open for students, Campus Store, and Senior Lounge move into Dowd Student Center. 

Cannon Science Renovation: Opening August 2019

This newly renovated building will host a number of important programs and academic resources. We envision an agile and flexible space where innovative ideas and inspired thinking are shared through spaces that invite collaboration.

  • College Counseling Suite
  • Education Resource Program (ERP) Suite
  • IT Help Desk Resource Room
  • Upper School Maker Space
  • Upper School Collaboration Space

Phase III: June 2019-Summer 2020

Renovation of current cafeteria space into new John and Claudia Belk Upper School Learning Center

January 2019—Board of Trustees approves Phase III construction
Summer 2019—Renovation begins

The planned enhancements to campus facilities are a significant commitment in ensuring Country Day remains at the forefront in delivering an exceptional education for our students, both now and in the future, through innovative and creating learning spaces. I am grateful to be part of a community that embraces our collective commitment to our students and our school. MARK REED, HEAD OF SCHOOL


Dowd Student Center

New Upper and Lower School Student Center includes Dawson Lower School Dining Hall and Michelle and Mike Bailey Upper School Dining Hall. Groundbreaking: June 2018.

On the Leading Edge: the New Purdy Center and Hance Learning Center

The new Purdy Center for Science and Mathematics and the Hance Lower School Learning Center build on what's best about life and learning at Country Day. These future-ready learning spaces reframe Cannon Campus for the challenges our students face today, while providing students and teachers with what they need to take the lead and launch successful futures.


If you have any questions about capital giving at Country Day, please contact:
Katharine Atkins, Director of Development
(704) 943-4545 | E-mail