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SSA Breaks Ground on Rockwell Middle School, Marking Historic Move to Unified 6–12 Campus

Construction is officially underway at Shady Side Academy on Rockwell Middle School, a 49,300-square-foot facility designed to offer optimal middle school education to grades 6–8 on Shady Side Academy’s soon-to-be unified Upper School campus serving grades 6–12. 

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new building was held on Monday, May 20 to celebrate this momentous event and was attended by lead donors, trustees, administration, faculty, and students including: 

  • Bart Griffith ’93, Academy President 
  • Robert S. Mullin ’93, Chairman, SSA Board of Trustees 
  • S. Kent Rockwell ’62 and his partner, Pat Babyak, Lead Donors  
  • Jamie Scott ’98, SSA Chief Philanthropy Officer
  • Michelle Merson, SSA Head of Middle School
  • Brian Johnston, Assistant Head of School, Dean of Studies
  • Amy Hurtuk, Dean of Students
  • Paul Francioni, Director of Facilities
  • Noa L. and Sebastian W., Middle School Student Leaders 

Rockwell Middle School is the keystone project of SSA’s recently announced Campus Master Plan. In partnership with Strada LLC, a Pittsburgh-based design firm, the new school is designed to nurture collaboration and interdisciplinary instruction through its state-of-the-art learning arenas, multifunctional spaces, and adaptable classrooms. It will feature extensive natural lighting, solar panels, and energy-efficient systems and will house a dedicated library and dining hall tailored to foster a vibrant community spirit. Moreover, Rockwell Middle School will provide SSA Middle School students unparalleled access to the exceptional facilities of the Upper School Campus, ensuring a seamless and enriched educational journey. 

Visit the SSA website for monthly project updates.

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