R+D Center

After three years of planning and fundraising, the Research + Design (R+D) Center opened its doors on September 5, 2017, on the first day of the 2017-18 school year. Our community immediately embraced this new space and it has become the heart of our campus.

The R+D Center has already exceeded our expectations – providing our students access to resources that foster and support in-depth research and innovation from 6th to 12th grade.

Located at the site of our former library, the R+D Center has extended Beaver’s footprint, and has opened up what have been disjointed spaces. It has created new traffic patterns, houses three floors of community and flexible-learning spaces, and offers greater connection and inspiration between teachers, kids, and administrators.

Our work is not done. We are still raising funds for the R+D Center in order to reach our goal of $15 million.


For more examples of work being done in the R+D Center, visit Genius Unleashed Moments.


  • New Entry experience: A reconfigured foyer outside Bradley Hall houses an open art gallery with views to a newly accessible courtyard. A new bridge – with built-in presentation spaces and a rotating collection of curated books – provides direct access to the entrance of the R+D Center’s Main Level.
  • Main level (Research): This level has individual and collaborative workspaces, research materials and resources, conference rooms, and presentation spaces.
  • Lower level (Design): A design and engineering workshop accessible to the entire Beaver community, this level is outfitted with state-of-the-art technology, audio/video recording studios, and access to expert faculty and staff resources.
  • New third floor level (Classrooms): Additional spaces with flexible furnishings that accommodate multiple configurations and replaced aging classrooms behind Bradley Hall.


“Seeing the students coming into the space for the first time, you could see the gears turning in their heads and they are starting to get a sense of what they could do in here. One of our goals with this space was to reach kids who don’t self-identify as ‘design kids’ – and with the level of curiosity and excitement already, it is clear we exceeded our expectations.” – Rob MacDonald, R+D Staff and Curriculum Development Lead

“Beaver is light-years ahead of other schools in terms of research culture. I’m new to Beaver this year and I was blown away by this. The culture is already here, now there is a space for it to bloom.”  – Cait Levin, Director of Research and Information Services

“My favorite question that I’ve been getting a lot is: ‘is it okay to ask for your help with something I’m working on, even if it’s not for class?’” – Jayne Everson, Director of Robotics and Engineering, R+D Experience Lead, Math Teacher

“If students want to meet and collaborate, there’s a space for that. If students want to relax and do work quietly, there’s space for that.” – Randall Northrop, US History


22,379 square feet of new construction (Level 3 and Expanded Footprint)

15,711 square feet of renovated space (Main Building and Library/Workshop)

38,090 square feet Total R+D Center

Architect: NADAAA

Partners: Steelcase

The doors to the R+D Center opened in September 2017.