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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

May 2017—The College Counseling Office and Campus Book Store move out of Cramer Annex into temporary buildings adjacent to the Hance Fine Arts Center; the Senior Lounge moves temporarily to a classroom in Cramer Hall.

June 2017—Barrier fencing in place, Cramer Annex building torn down, and construction begins on Purdy Center; barrier fencing in place, site work started, and construction of Hance Lower School Learning Center begins. New temporary school foot and vehicle traffic patterns in place for community safety.

Summer 2018—Upper School science and math programs move into new Purdy Center; Lower School programs move into the new Hance Lower School Learning Center.

Looking Ahead: Phase II and III

Projected Phase II

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

Summer 2018—Renovation begins

Fall 2019—New dining spaces open for students, Campus Store, and Senior Lounge move into Dowd Student Center 

Projected Phase III

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


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


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:
Lauren Batten, Director of Advancement
(704) 943-4539 | E-mail