Master Planning

Thayer Academy

Thayer Academy

Thayer Academy and Eck MacNeely Architects have always maintained a close relationship, so it was no surprise when Thayer would ask EMA to develop an addendum to their 2015 master plan. This master plan update would seek to record five main points:

  • The campus facilities which support the full range of activities required for the school to carry out its educational mission
  • The major changes to the campus over the three years since the last master plan
  • Issues arising from the conditions and uses of its land and facilities
  • Changing academic trends and needs that drive change in the academic program
  • Projects undertaken to update and maintain Thayer’s campus assets.

Eck MacNeely would work with a committee of Thayer Academy staff and trustees to address these points and develop suggestions for the future of the campus.

A review of Thayer’s technology-centered offerings would be undertaken to determine if they should be expanded or updated to meet the changing trends in that sector of education. This would take into account course content, staffing, updates to classrooms and equipment, as well as classroom locations and visibility.

A study involving traffic and parking professionals, along with students and staff, would be undertaken to identify options for expansion of parking options and access, and improvement of traffic circulation. This plan can be seen in the slides shown below.

Thayer would look into new usage opportunities for the current Operations Center and Southworth Library spaces through consolidation or expansion.

An audit of Thayer’s current storage usage would be done under the mandate of removing storage containers from campus without constructing new storage facilities. An outside consultant would be hired to help facilitate this process. The results of this audit can be seen on the fourth slide below.

Thayer Academy Master Planning
Thayer Academy Master Planning
Thayer Academy Master Planning
Thayer Academy Master Planning

In addition to these new suggestions, the committee also reflected upon previous principles from the original 2009 master plan that still remain relevant today:

  • Priority to providing excellent facilities for Teaching and Learning and clustering Academic facilities around the Historic Green.
  • Every teaching space should be fully functional and quiet, with appropriate lighting and HVAC systems.
  • Reinforce the major Open Spaces that define the campus and serve its needs, namely the Historic Green with its formal ceremonial presence that engages the Town on Washington Street, and the
  • Crossroads Area between Main and Cahall where the school community connects and intersects.
    Locate on-campus those activities that affect the greatest number of students and staff while maintaining open spaces.
  • Achieve the most efficient year-round utilization of athletic facilities by providing multipurpose indoor facilities, as practicable; and optimize the layout of fields on the Main Campus by incorporating any additional properties that become available on the perimeter of the campus or at the South Athletic Center.
  • While remaining committed to an Open Campus, provide for the safety and security of all members of the school community.
  • Balance the aesthetic quality and historic character of the campus landscape with the need to provide adequate parking by strategic placement of parking areas and allocation of appropriate land area.
  • Subject to available funds, explore every opportunity for acquisition of strategic properties at acceptable price levels along the perimeters of the Academy.
    Continue Thayer’s commitment to and actions in support of being a good institutional citizen of Braintree; maintain open communication with the Town of Braintree.