Capital Projects

Capital projects from the Our Common Bond campaign yielded significant academic returns and long-lasting value to the School, while extending the spirit of community so central to our mission. USM’s facilities continue to set the school apart from peers on a local and national level.

Projects included: The Jack Olson ’67 Commons, Abert-Tooman Center for the Arts, Lubar Center for Innovation and Exploration, Bruce ’81 and Jennifer Lee Community Room, and Darrow Family Welcome Center.

Goal: $15 Million

Abert-Tooman Center for the Arts

The performing arts are an essential part of the student experience at USM, from the first note heard in a preschool music class to the final bow taken on stage in the Virginia Henes Young Theatre.

Our collaborative arts programs—including the visual arts, drama, music, and dance—provide amazing opportunities for students to discover a passion and to hone an artistic skill. These arts experiences lead to success in other areas of life as students learn self-discipline, collaboration, problem solving, and public speaking.

Whether it is by picking up a paintbrush, a camera, a musical instrument or a script, our students are pushing themselves to new levels of achievement through the arts.

The quality of USM’s superb arts programs is now matched by the quality of our facilities. Our theatre was built in 1985 when USM consolidated its two campuses, and is now renovated and expanded to offer more seating and back-stage improvements.


The Sardas-Trevorrow Band Room
The Werner Family Art Gallery
The expanded Virginia Henes Young Theatre
The renovated Hammes Family Theatre Lobby

Jack Olson ’67 Commons

The feeling of community is everywhere — in our hallways, classrooms, and advising groups, on our athletic fields, in the smiles of our youngest students, and in the memories of our oldest alumni.

Ask our teachers, students, parents, and alumni about their USM experiences, and inevitably they mention “community,” the defining attribute of our School.

The School lacked a true center for campus life—a gathering place much like those now found at our peer independent schools and on college campuses across the country.

The new Olson Commons enhances USM’s ability to promote our core belief in the power of community and of lasting relationships—and allows us to strengthen our traditional cultural touchstones.


Exterior of the Jack Olson '67 Commons
Palermo Hall servery
The Olson Commons preserves and enriches our tradition of students dining with faculty. It offers an atmosphere and space more conducive to fostering conversations, connections, and mentoring relationships.
Here we are able to host important community-building events like the Senior Dinner, athletic banquets, parent gatherings, and alumni get-togethers onsite.
The Olson Commons offers flexible-use areas for presentations, intimate gatherings, studying, and collaborative learning. It also provides room for House meetings; in essence, a space to be used throughout the day.
The new lobby for the Upper School, with an elevator and separate entrance, allows us to host off-hours events in the Olson Commons for alumni, parents, and the community.
Jack Olson '67 Commons
Palermo Hall Servery
The exterior of the Jack Olson '67 Commons
A view of the Hauske Family Lobby and Jack Olson '67 Commons

Lubar Center for Innovation and Exploration

Terrific ideas often start with a spark, and not always a textbook. Real-world innovation requires the kind of intellectual horsepower that comes from roll-up-your-sleeves curiosity.

The world and the workplace are looking for the solvers and the doers—the bold thinkers who seize a “eureka” moment by taking vision to prototype and making it into something great. Colleges are looking for these kinds of students as well.

We are committed to fostering a culture of discovery and inquiry. Our students are equipped and inspired to solve real-world problems and to build skills that are both meaningful and marketable. We believe that our innovative programs and talented faculty provide our students with the entrepreneurial edge they will need in their future careers.

The new Lubar Center for Innovation and Exploration serves as a central hub of experiential, technology-based experimentation and learning. Demand and interest are high. Together with the other innovation spaces, Nerdvana in the Middle School, and the Lower School’s Wildcat Creation Station— the Lubar Center is used at full capacity by students.


Bruce ’81 and Jennifer Lee Community Room and Darrow Family Welcome Center

Great things happen when great minds come together. This is evident every day among our School community members who dedicate themselves in so many ways to supporting the educational development of our students and contributing to the vitality of USM.

The Lee Community Room is a place for all of us, where parents and others can mingle, connect with teachers, exchange ideas, work on projects, and conduct volunteer meetings. Here we are able to share more than a passing hello at drop-off. The Darrow Family Welcome Center serves as a safe, efficient, and welcoming entryway for parents and visitors to the School. These are important spaces that help foster USM’s growth as a community.

Never underestimate the power of an impromptu parent-teacher conversation over a cup of coffee.


Interested in learning more about our Capital Projects?

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