As part of Choate’s academic convergence of arts, science, and math, the new 34,000-square-foot St. John Hall complements Choate’s existing Ichan Science Center and Mellon Arts Center for student development that transcends typical STEM curricula. The focus here was two STEAM labs (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) to teach creativity, innovation, and design in a hands-on way. A robotics laboratory was expanded and relocated to this building, as well as 12 classrooms focusing on chemistry, architecture, sculpture, renewable biofuels, and other traditional and new programs. The center of the building offers a student and teacher lounge for collaboration. An adjacent café and auditorium with seating for 65 completes the building’s academic offerings.
Newfield is sensitive to reducing environmental harm during construction, so significant tree protection measures were in place for an ancient Copper Beech tree and other trees and existing plant growth outside the building’s footprint. The on-site pond was also carefully monitored during construction. St. John Hall is LEED Gold Certified.