Greenhill Opens Rosa O. Valdes Stem + Innovation Center

Greenhill Opens Rosa O. Valdes STEM + Innovation Center

The Rosa O. Valdes STEM + Innovation Center opened its doors on March 19, 2024. The building was brimming with excitement as students and faculty explored the new space, found their classrooms, and started teaching and learning. The opening of the Rosa O. Valdes STEM + Innovation Center marks the completion of one of the central components of the Growing Stronger Together Campaign, a five-year, $85 million campaign that is the largest and most transformational in Greenhill's 74-year history.

About the Building

Designed by architects from Bohlin Cywinski Johnson (BCJ), the Rosa O. Valdes STEM + Innovation Center houses Middle and Upper School math, science, and innovation classes and faculty. This 65,000-square-foot facility includes flexible math and science classrooms, a large central commons, an innovation corridor with collaboration space, a production studio and fabrication lab, computer science and robotics labs, and a coffee shop. There is also a variety of gathering spaces and collaborative learning areas to facilitate relationships between departments and divisions, foster teamwork, and build connections.

The Rosa O. Valdes STEM + Innovation Center is located on the site of the former Agnich Science Building, which served three generations of Greenhill students from 1964 to 2021. To honor the Agnich Science Building, the new building includes an interior courtyard that provides natural light and serves as an area for hands-on learning.

A gathering was held on the evening of Wednesday, March 27 to celebrate the grand opening of the Rosa O. Valdes STEM + Innovation Center. Attendees heard remarks from leadership donors Ralph de la Torre and E. Pierce Marshall, Jr. ’86, as well as Middle School Science Teacher Gretchen Pollom.

During the program, Fredston Family Head of School Lee Hark said, “Standing here in this amazing new building, it’s easy to see that together we have accomplished something truly extraordinary. Not only have we built a beautiful and inspiring new facility to house these essential academic programs, we have created something that will impact generations of Greenhill students and faculty.”

In 2019, when the Rosa O. Valdes STEM + Innovation Center was still just an idea, Hark asked Assistant Head of School/Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operations Officer Kendra Grace to lead the project. Five years later at the grand opening celebration, Grace said, “As I look back, what strikes me most is how incredibly rewarding and fulfilling this experience has been. When you have a team that is united behind a single purpose – to build the most thoughtful, sustainable, and inspiring STEM & Innovation center imaginable for the education of our students – the bumps in the road that could derail a project become opportunities to problem-solve and build resilience . . . qualities we try to teach and instill in our students everyday.”