A hands-on learning experience intimately connected with the landscape

Shady Side Academy (SSA) is a top-tier independent college preparatory school in the Pittsburgh area. Founded in 1883, the Academy prides itself on achieving academic excellence and innovation within a nurturing community.

Shady Side Academy’s new 22,000 sq. ft. McIlroy Center is a LEED Gold Certified, two-story science instruction facility that seamlessly integrates with the pastoral hills of the senior school’s historic 130-acre campus. The Center boasts indoor classrooms and labs that connect to an outdoor courtyard and amphitheater, harmonizing with the sloped site and allowing for sustainable stormwater diversion.

The building’s solar panels, energy-efficient windows, water-saving plumbing, and motion-sensitive lighting all serve as science and innovation teaching tools, reducing the building’s environmental impact. The McIlroy Center is the embodiment of Shady Side Academy’s commitment to excellence, individuality, and independence through critical thinking, creativity, and hands-on learning connected to real-life local and global issues.

Not many high school labs have this type of equipment. When our kids go on to study science in college, this is the kind of equipment and methodology they’ll be using.

Dr. Devon Renock Shady Side Academy, Biology & Chemistry Teacher

We talk about green design in class, but now our students will be able to see those features in action, from the rain garden to the solar roof panels.

Leah Powers Shady Side Academy, Environmental Teacher