An Independent School • Grades 5-12
Lakeside announces our plans for a new Upper School academic building! 

by Kai Bynum, head of school 

Image by LMN Architects

After months of work from Lakeside’s building committee and fundraising team, we are thrilled to share that Lakeside is moving forward with the construction of a new Upper School academic building. 

In fall 2026, Lakeside Upper School will have a new two-story academic building located on the field that is on the southwest corner of campus, next to Allen-Gates Hall. It will feature high-quality learning spaces, worthy of the excellence of our students and faculty; 12 English and humanities classrooms and eight biology, physics, and chemistry/advanced science labs; a wide variety of community spaces for collaboration and fun; and outdoor spaces for learning and community-building that will knit the building into the Upper School campus. This coming fall, we will begin preparing the site. We anticipate opening the doors to classrooms at the start of the 2026-2027 school year! 

This building will transform students’ Lakeside experience and unlock possibilities for our students, faculty, and staff. Here are some things that we think our community members will love about it: 

  • State-of-the-art biology, chemistry, and physics labs will enable a hands-on learning environment where students can explore cutting-edge scientific concepts and techniques, conduct advanced experiments, collaborate on interdisciplinary projects, and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills essential for future scientific endeavors.
  • With English/humanities classrooms across the hall from science labs, this building will foster interdisciplinary and student-led learning. 
  • It will feature a variety of meeting spaces, including informal hangout spaces for kids, a seminar room, and small rooms for students to attend Zoom meetings. Students will be able to meet with their teachers and peers in classrooms, meeting rooms, and thoughtfully designed office and collaboration spaces. 
  • Spaces will be flexible and give kids (and teachers!) room to spread out. 
  • This building will serve as a social hub with ample opportunities for connection throughout the day. There will be a café and multiple indoor and outdoor community spaces.
  • Intentionally designed outdoor spaces will make learning (and socializing) outdoors an enjoyable experience. A universally accessible ramp will lead to the new building from Red Square, and, to the south, a welcoming entry to campus will be scaled to our middle schoolers. 
  • The entire building and the surrounding area will be inclusive and accessible, including barrier-free outdoor pathways, wide interior hallways, an elevator, and all-gender restrooms. A diversity of collaboration spaces will facilitate a range of learning and study practices.
  • The building will be the most sustainable on campus, featuring multiple sustainability strategies. In addition to solar panels on the roof, heat pumps, and operable, energy-efficient windows, the building will have a reduced carbon footprint, lower operating costs, and a healthier indoor environment.

The construction of this new building will be a core part of Lakeside’s three-to-five-year strategic plan. Lakeside has grown significantly over the past three decades — in both the size of our student body and in our nationally recognized programs. While we have regularly renovated spaces on campus, the last new academic buildings to open on the Upper School campus were Allen-Gates Hall in 1987 and the Pigott Family Arts Center in 1998.

As we shared last year, our explorations into a new building began with a close assessment of our classrooms and community spaces, following which we hired LMN Architects. They began their process in early 2023 by talking with faculty, staff, and students to learn what they think would be the most important needs in a future academic building. Listening to students has been an important part of the process: What do they need? What would deepen their educational experience even more? 

Right now, this project is at a stage where we can begin to visualize the experience of learning, working, and playing in an educational space that promises to be both beautiful and inspiring. We know the size of the building, what will be in it, how things will be laid out, and, critically, how this new building will transform how we think about and use our campus. Fundraising for the project has been going well — we’ve made significant progress and we have more work to do. 

We’ll be sharing more about this project as we move forward — watch for updates! And get excited: We know that fall 2026 seems like a long way away, but the coming months will go fast. Before you know it, we’ll be walking into that light-filled atrium, ready to discover new passions and possibilities.

 

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