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The James B. Massey Jr. Leadership Center won two awards at the annual meeting of the state chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council.

The Center won a leadership award for Innovative Design, New Construction, K-12 Schools and was in a surprising three-way tie for the People's Choice Award. It shared the People's Choice with New Cabell Hall at University of Virginia and the Consolidated Science Research Facility at Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS).

The meeting was a virtual event with representatives tuning in from across Virginia to offer brief acceptance remarks on behalf of their institutions.

In accepting the award for Norfolk Academy, Headmaster Dennis Manning noted the school's founding in 1728, which makes it the oldest school in Virginia, although the school moved to its current campus in 1966. The Massey Center, which is named for the headmaster who led the school from 1950-1978, has given the school a “remarkable example of contemporary work."  Mr. Manning thanked the architects, Rob Reis and Jane Rathbone of Norfolk-based Hanbury, and Whiting Turner, the construction firm.

He said his acceptance of the award honored the memory of Mr. Stewart Howard, who served as Norfolk Academy's director of buildings and grounds and in that role, was a tireless project manager, organizing each stage so that construction could proceed safely and on schedule, even as school continued without interruption. Mr. Howard passed away in February 2019. 

The Massey Center, a bustling hub at the heart of the campus, is home to the school's Batten Leadership Program, and it features an array of flexible spaces for studying and learning. It is a net zero building, powered by 1,950 solar panels installed on rooftops across campus, and it has an array of less visible features that reflect an emphasis on sustainable design.

James B. Massey Jr. Portrait in lobby

The lobby of the Massey Leadership Center has a portrait of James B. Massey Jr., who served as headmaster from 1950-78.

Study Area

Study areas in the Massey Leadership Center include flexible design, screens, and wall space that doubles as a whiteboard. 

Courtyard in Massey Center

The new courtyard, which features plant species native to Virginia, contributes to the overall sustainability of the building. Floor to ceiling windows and glass doors throughout the Massey Center allow natural light and invite a connection to nature.

Massey Leadership Center study area

The Massey Center connects the Middle and Upper Schools, serving as a crossroads of the campus.

Massey Leadership Center

The Massey Center is a “net zero" building with power supplied entirely by an array of solar panels on rooftops across the campus. That feature was a significant factor in the building's LEED Gold certification.

Massey Leadership Center exterior

The Massey Leadership Center opens onto the Kennon Forum, known to one and all as “The Pit," a popular gathering spot on campus. The front of the building features the school seal. 

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