This two-story, 22,000-square-foot instruction facility is nestled within the pastoral hills of its senior school’s historic 130-acre campus. In keeping with the campus’ Colonial Revival architectural aesthetic, a brick and glass façade complements the building’s context while simultaneously reinforcing its identity as a place of innovation. The u-shaped form comprised of three conjoined bar elements helps break down the building’s comparatively bulky footprint on the campus, and creates an outdoor courtyard for informal classes, gatherings, performances, and socializing.
The Center has 10 flexible classroom/lab spaces for physics, biology and chemistry, and larger spaces for research, collaboration, and independent study including a multipurpose room/lounge. The special projects room provides students with supervised access to research. Faculty is particularly excited about the state-of-the-art, college-level lab equipment – gas chromatography machine, nuclear magnetic resonance machine, and -80 lab freezer – which opens up a world of possibilities.
Sustainability was a pervasive consideration throughout design and construction. The green design reduces environmental impact and serves as a science and innovation teaching tool. With a rain garden to collect runoff, solar panels as an electric power source, energy-efficient windows, water-saving plumbing, motion-sensitive lighting and more, the building is a living, observable science lesson. The McIlroy Center achieved LEED Gold certification in 2020.
– Dr. Joe Martens, Shadyside Academy Science Department Chair