Discovery Center Opens
Posted 09/14/2017 06:47PM

Ribbon-Cutting on First Day of School

After several years of planning and 18 months of construction, the new Gerald L. Boarman Discovery Center opened on the first day of school for the 2017-18 school year.

"I am just overwhelmed right now with the realization that after all these months of planning and building, we are seeing the kids' reactions to the innovative education they will be able to take advantage of, said Dr. Boarman in an interview with The Potomac Almanac about the building. "This building will facilitate everything we want to do and provide kids with state-of-the-art educational and growth opportunities. We are so pleased with the way it turned out, how it fits with our campus design and with the spirit of innovation that will take place here."

A ribbon-cutting featuring student representatives from all grades K-12 officially opened the building on the first day of school, and a dedication event for all donors was held on September 12. Both activities highlighted the beautiful architecture of the building coupled with the attention to detail and 21st century technology and learning that the building was designed for.

The building, housing 23 classrooms and labs, student center, makerspace and fabrication labs, studio theater, Innovation Lab and much more, was designed by Duda|Paine Architects and built by Coakley & Williams Construction. The project came together with the thoughtful participation and planning of teachers, administrators and others in the community who developed a building that would provide flexibility and space to house the latest learning technology and foster innovation and imagination.

Of particular care was space for the Bullis Signature Programs. The STEM program will be centered around the BITLab (made up of a makerspace and fabrication lab) as well as age-appropriate design spaces for lower and middle schoolers to learn and explore. Lower Schoolers will also enjoy an outdoor classroom for their exclusive use.

The Visual & Performing Arts program is looking forward to using the new studio theater which adds a smaller-size performance and showcase venue for productions and art shows. The Humanities & Global Studies program will make use of the new telepresence hall for connecting with people around the world and a presentation room for students to meet and prepare talks about their projects.

Entrepreneurship has a new home in the Innovation Lab, which provides meeting space for capstone teams to meet with mentors and classroom space that fosters imagination and creativity.

More than $25 million was raised for the building, led by the generosity of David & June Trone and Abby Moffat, Diana Davis Spencer and the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation.

To see more photos of the Discovery Center's interior features, please click here.