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Hampton Roads Academy Opens New Dining Hall and Lower School Wing

NEWPORT NEWS, VA — Hampton Roads Academy recently celebrated the official opening of the Mary and Larry Pope Dining Hall, Rona and Erwin Drucker Lower School and the Martha H. Patten Hydroponics Lab.

W.M. Jordan Company provided construction management on the new 400-seat full-service dining hall, new Lower School wing with 12 spacious classrooms, an Innovation Lab/Makerspace and a 1,000-square-foot hydroponics lab.

Hampton Roads Academy Head of School Peter W. Mertz, Campaign Chair Wendy Drucker ’76 and Board of Trustees Chair Keith Vander Vennet ‘83 led the ceremony, and student leaders cut the ribbon to officially open the doors to the new building.

Hampton Roads Academy’s new 400-seat Mary and Larry Pope Dining Hall with a full-service professional kitchen, provides every student with a daily selection of healthy meals in a space where students can develop social skills and build relationships. This new space reflects the school’s commitment to healthy bodies and healthy minds.

The new Rona and Erwin Drucker Lower School wing features 12 large, bright classrooms with enhanced 21st-century learning opportunities. A large, flexible Innovation Lab/Makerspace is at the center of the Lower School and accessible to all HRA students.

A feature that connects the dining hall and Lower School wing is the 1,000-square-foot Martha H. Patten Hydroponics Lab. The laboratory includes vertical growing towers of leafy greens for HRA’s dining hall with the potential to grow other fruits and vegetables. Beyond providing produce for the dining hall, this space will be the backdrop for academic lessons and support HRA’s concentration in community service as extra produce will be donated to local food banks.
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