The Bullis School, located in Potomac, MD, is an independent co-educational college preparatory day school for grades K-12. Founded in 1930 by Commander William Francis Bullis, th school was originally a prep school for boys heading to the US Naval Academy and the US Military Academy at West Point. In 1934, the school moved to Silver Spring, MD. It was relocated to its current home in Potomac in the 1960s.
Tuesday, September 5th, The Bullis School hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Gerald L. Boarman Discovery Center. The Center took 18 months to construct and features over 20 new classrooms and labs, study and lounge areas, a student center, a Telepresence room, Digital Media Studio, and a multi-use studio theatre with retractable seating.
Designed by Duda|Paine Architects, the goal of the building was to highlight innovation and flexibility through multipurpose spaces which are easily reconfigured, as well as dynamic and transparent architecture. InterAmerica Stage, Inc. was brought in by theatre consultants, Pook Diemont & Ohl, to design a full coverage, 2700+ square foot SkyDeck™ system for The Caulfield Family Studio Theatre. PDO handled the installation of the SkyDeck™.
Bullis’ system was designed around the unique requirement of a full-size movie-theatre projection screen, which can be raised and lowered, at the front of the theatre. With room to seat 273 people on retractable theatre seating, the Studio Theatre can quickly transform from a state of the art performance space to an open floor perfect for hosting formal meetings and dinners.
Today, the school hosts about 800 and has a faculty of 106 educators. According to the EPA’s Green Power Partnership, Bullis School, known for its use of renewable energy, ranks fourth among K-12 schools using renewable energy in the US.
The Discovery Center makes use of bio-retention ponds to expand Bullis’ energy conservation efforts and water efficiency. The Center will allow the school to increase student attendance without sacrificing smaller class sizes.
“I am just overwhelmed right now with the realization that after 19 months of planning and building, we are seeing the kid’s reactions to the innovative education they will be able to take advantage of,” Head of School Gerald L. Boarman said. “This building will facilitate everything we want to do and will provide kids with state-of the art educational and growth opportunities. We are so pleased with the way it has turned out, how it fits with our campus design and with the spirit of innovation that will take place here.”