Punahou is prioritizing togetherness and inclusion at the new Academy Learning Commons. Upon its projected completion in 2025, not only will the new state-of-the-art building be a hub for dynamic learning and intellectual pursuits, but it will also become a magnet for buff ’n blue gatherings.
“The new Academy Learning Commons will be a welcoming, vibrant and lively space that offers our students and our community a deep sense of belonging,” says Punahou’s Vice President for Advancement Noelehua Lyons ’91 Archambault.
The LEED-certified design will feature a new grand entrance facing Rice (Middle) Field and the Lily Pond. “With this new gracious entry point, the flow of the building will allow broad accessibility to all students K – 12 and to the larger Punahou community. We are thrilled to have this become the center of the Academy experience enhancing the lives of our students and adults on campus,” Archambault says.
Covered lanai on all four sides of the building will provide students and faculty with more inviting study and social meeting options, creating opportunities for spontaneous interaction, while a new cafe with seating as well as a grab-and-go kiosk will offer busy Academy students the chance to sit with their classmates, teachers and friends over food. Adjacent to the cafe and kiosk, the building will feature a food design lab and teaching kitchen. With programming led by chef and Punahou Food Curriculum Specialist Mark Noguchi ’93, students will engage in interdisciplinary learning through hands-on, ‘āina-based curriculum.
Increased interior natural lighting and an engaging layout in the Cooke Library Collection space will encourage more activity and time spent with wonderful fiction and non-fiction materials. Meanwhile, expanded meeting areas inside the building will allow for more collaborative work for students and teachers both in class sessions and outside scheduled class time.
“We look forward to the vital role that the ALC will have in helping our community connect further,” Archambault shared. “It will be an inviting space for creating, discovering, and experiencing joyous moments with each other.”