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Tuesday, December 6, 2022
FairfaxEducationMadeira School kicks off construction of new 'STEAM' center

Madeira School kicks off construction of new ‘STEAM’ center

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Madeira School in McLean broke ground April 28 on a new, state-of-the-art STEAM Academic Center, which officials anticipate will be completed in fall 2023.

“The new interdisciplinary space is designed to be the hub of hands-on learning that boosts student collaboration, creativity and exploration, preparing Madeira graduates to lead in fields that exist today and in those that have yet to be created,” said Head of School Gretchen Warner.

The 36,540-square-foot facility’s open and flexible spaces incorporate eight labs, including one equipped for advanced research, to support Madeira’s STEAM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math] programming.

The building will house classrooms for math and studios for digital arts, robotics, design, fabrication, painting, drawing, ceramics and photography. A flex room, opening onto a large terrace, will accommodate informal study, meetings and special events, including lectures, films and receptions.


Integrating the STEAM disciplines under one roof will ignite deep engagement, facilitate cross-collaboration, and promote student and faculty interaction, Madeira leaders said. Many spaces are configured to give students and the entire Madeira community opportunities for socializing and casual interaction, fostering inspiration and innovation. The new building also will expand access to STEAM resources and space, giving students more freedom and opportunity to experiment.

“In its storied history, Madeira has continually forged a path for what is possible for students, creating programs and spaces that enable girls to realize their potential and thrive,” Warner said.

The building, designed by Centerbrook Architects, incorporates a dramatic three-story continuous wall of windows overlooking a wooded hillside. (The windows will have technology to avoid injury to birds.) The project was designed to incorporate energy-efficient materials throughout, including a rooftop-solar-panel array to generate electricity.

Located on 376 acres, Madeira is a boarding and day school that educates girls in grades 9 through 12.

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