The state-of-the-art science education facility designed by Architerra, an architecture, community design, and development advisory firm dedicated to sustainable design and smart growth, is annexed to the east end of the Burden Classroom Building, extending from the Holy Lawn north toward the football field and track.
This new building features…
- Seven laboratories
- Seven classrooms
- Faculty offices
- A multi-purpose seminar room
- A multi-story commons that serves as the crossroads between science and the humanities
As the largest single initiative in our history, this transformational project sets Portsmouth Abbey apart as a school that delivers an exceptional education in the sciences, in the humanities, and in all aspects of its unique curriculum, for generations to come.
The Case for Science
For today’s students, success depends on their ability to ask good questions, explore answers, risk failure, and learn from mistakes — all of which make up the core of the Portsmouth Abbey science program.
To continue this scientific process in a tradition consistent with the School’s mission, a new science building is a necessity.
Our current science facilities were not designed to support the number of students currently enrolled and the number of science classes each is taking, nor to accommodate today’s pedagogy, which includes expanded lab work and a significant emphasis on technology.
Since the current science building opened in the fall of 1965…
- The average number of science classes taken per student has doubled from two to four
- The student body has increased by over 60%
- The science faculty has more than quadrupled
- Exciting, new post-AP courses such as Green Chemistry and Advanced Topics in Physics require even more hands-on, laboratory-based learning
View Construction Progress
- Meets LEED Gold design specifications
- Exterior in harmony with Belluschi architectural idiom
- Flexible-use interior which can evolve with curriculum
7 laboratories, 7 classrooms, faculty offices, multi-purpose seminar room, student project lab, Science & Humanities Commons, Science & Humanities Courtyard
133% increase in number of science classrooms
133% increase in number of laboratories
Cost: $20 Million
Opened January 4, 2019
Office of Development & Alumni Affairs
285 Cory’s Lane
Portsmouth, Rhode Island 02871-1352
Before students and faculty departed for Christmas vacation, they were treated to a sneak peek of the School’s new science building.read more
In the fall of 1986, future Form IV student Tim Muccia was apprehensive about joining the Portsmouth Abbey community. He would be leaving behind a large, co-ed school for a small, all-boys Catholic boarding school two states away. Fortunately, the transition was...read more
Many parents and graduates often wonder how they can stay connected to their school if they are living far away. In the case of Andy and Julie Wei, “far away” from Portsmouth means roughly 7,000 miles in Beijing, China. That distance, however, does not keep them at...read more
In the summer of 2016, John and Meg Dennis, along with daughters Meagan and Tessa, attended orientation for their local high school. Expectations were high, as the school has an excellent reputation and the girls were excited to begin high school. However, the school...read more
In 2013, Portsmouth Abbey School’s Board of Regents selected architect Ellen Watts of Architerra in Boston, Massachusetts, to begin the conceptual design for what would eventually become plans for the School’s next major academic project – a state-of-the-art 21st-century science building. After considering no fewer than six possible locations on campus, including several stand-alone sites, Watts and the Board ultimately decided the ideal location for the new building would be the northeast corner of the Holy Lawn, adjacent to the existing Burden Classroom Building. The selection of this location made it necessary for the new building to be designed as part of the original campus architectural idiom established by Pietro Belluschi in the late 1950s. The following is a Q&A with Watts about this effort.read more