The Hun School of Princeton will begin renovating the Alexander K. Buck ’49 Middle School building on June 1, school officials said.
The $5.5 million dollar renovation and expansion will nearly double the square footage allocated to middle school classrooms and activities.
Designed by architects Clarke Caton Hintz, the year-long
project will expand and modernize middle school classrooms, labs, and gathering spaces, while adding contemporary aesthetics and
substantial light to the building.
“Middle schoolers react to their learning environment in very unique ways. They crave learning and community spaces – places to come together, socialize, and collaborate. And every one of them also needs to feel like there’s aplace on this campus that’s just for them,” said Hun Middle School Head Ken Weinstein. The Buck Building renovation will accomplish this and provide state-of-the-art teaching spaces for our faculty as well.”
A thriving middle school enrollment of about 100 students in grades six to eight, along with a desire to provide facilities that enhance teaching and learning, led the Hun Board of Trustees to make the renovation of the middle school building a top campus priority, school officials said.
Built in 1974, the building housed the middle school on the lower floor and in the basement annex, with a student activity center, snack bar, and balcony located on the first floor. In 2015, the Breen Family Campus Center and PA Café opened inside the Wilf Family Global Commons, creating an opportunity to expand the space allocated to middle school activities, school officials said.
Once the renovation is complete, the middle school will inhabit all
three floors of the building, increasing the dedicated space for the middle school from 11,000 to 19,000 square feet.
The building’s exterior will receive a new façade, walkways, and
open-air features like a retractable wall. Inside, space will be
arranged to accommodate 12 classrooms, each 80 to 100 percent larger than existing rooms. New features will include 2 state-of-the-art STEM labs, a robotics construction zone, a video and media studio, and a visual art studio. Community spaces will include a large gathering space for assemblies, performing arts, dance, and martial arts, as well as a learning center and a smaller student common space.
Construction will take place in phases. The project is scheduled to be complete in the Fall of 2017.