North Yarmouth Academy: Mertz Science Center

SA collaborated with Benchmark General Contractors on a two-phase project for North Yarmouth Academy that includes a new middle school, a 15,000 sq.ft. science center and substantial site development work.

The Priscilla B. Savage Middle School was conceived to meet the needs of an expanded academic program and replace small, outdated facilities. The competition winning design is an adaptive reuse of a former supermarket. The architectural program consists of three classrooms each for 6th, 7th, and 8th grades, a large multipurpose room, offices, and support spaces.

The design concept groups three classrooms around a common area to create a sense of place for each grade. The fourth side of the building includes public functions such as the entry, administrative offices, and the multipurpose room.  The building’s center acts as a support core and contains bathrooms, faculty offices, and a computer laboratory.

The Mertz Science Center was the second phase of the master planning project. The new building accompanied the Middle School and created a new quadrangle and outdoor assembly area for the school. Completion of this building gave the NYA science department a modern and dedicated facility and created a more cohesive academic environment for the campus. The Science Center houses seven 1,000 sq. ft. lab classrooms, a 2-story greenhouse, computer lab, meeting room, and faculty offices. The NYA faculty was heavily involved in the design process.

Working within tight budget constraints, existing conditions are taken advantage of and simple finishes are expressed in creative ways.  Large windows provide generous day lighting.  Brick patterns and roof forms are reinterpreted from the original campus buildings.  Bold interior accent colors enliven and give identity to the spaces.


Client  |  North Yarmouth Academy

Location  |  Yarmouth, Maine

Contractor  |  Benchmark General Contractors

Photographer  |  Justin Van Soest