Kids shouldn’t learn anything in a vacuum, or everything in a classroom.
What you might notice first about GUS is our open campus, with nature trails winding through our 23 acres, or our expansive windows that keep every classroom connected to the outside world. This connection between facilities and the natural environment is no accident. The evolution of Glen Urquhart reflects a commitment to creating a school where children love learning because they are engaged physically, intellectually, and emotionally. Part of that mission involves erasing the boundaries between the classroom and the world around us.
The GUS campus includes seven buildings and spreads over 23 acres of woodland, marsh, and glen in the North Shore neighborhood of Beverly Farms. Inside and out, our school celebrates the land. True to our philosophy, our six acres of woodland, eight acres of wetland, three acres of open fields, and six acres of developed space are all active classrooms.
Lower School Building
Our lower school building, a stucco edifice complete with an original silo, houses kindergarten through fifth grade, a science laboratory, two art rooms, the Johnson Gallery, Spanish and Latin classrooms, and a music studio. It retains the charm of an old farm building but with large windows in every room, diminishing the boundaries between inside and out, just as the school’s founders envisioned.
Upper School Building
The 15,000 square-foot upper school building, completed in 2007, houses six classrooms as well as a science laboratory, an art gallery, a conference room, an assembly space for meetings, performances, and social gatherings, and offices. Built partially on the footprint of an original carriage house, it integrates some of the old walls in its design.
Braemar, named after a Scottish village that hosts the Highland Games Gathering, opened in 1999 and contains a full-size gymnasium/auditorium, a performance stage with theater lights and a removable sprung floor for dance, a kitchen for school events, and a mezzanine viewing area. The building is topped with a solar photovoltaic array that produces approximately 30% of the school's electrical needs.
Our athletic field, large enough for two simultaneous soccer or lacrosse games, provides our physical education classes and upper school teams room to practice and compete. A nearby play area for recreation, complete with structures, swings, four-square and hopscotch, allows our younger students safe and creative areas to explore, imagine, and exercise. An outdoor basketball court welcomes play during recess or after school.
A 7,000 square-foot renovated greenhouse, originally constructed as part of the former Orchidvale Estate, houses classroom space as well as an area used by The Food Project and Backyard Growers to begin growing vegetables that eventually provide more than 60,000 pounds of fresh produce each year.
Our nature trail winds through the woods, past vernal ponds, and opens onto an outdoor classroom where students engage in activities as diverse as science experiments and poetry-writing.
The built environment of the GUS campus is an example of reimaging and repurposing older buildings while adding new, modern spaces that complement what existed here previously. Students may walk past the Temple Building or a farm silo or see remnants of a 19th century formal garden, reminding them of the layers of history that reveal how people have used the land in various ways over time.
"Spring Campus View" filmed and produced by GUS Student Liam Kirwin ('18)