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Case Study : K-12 : Woodward Academy

Woodward Academy, Humanities Building

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Woodward Academy is the largest independent day school in the continental United States as well as the oldest college-preparatory school in Atlanta, GA. Established in 1900, Woodward Academy is rich in history and achievement, and carries forth a tradition of unprecedented excellence. The final phase of the campus plan was the construction of a new Upper School Humanities Building in order to meet the physical, academic and technical demands of their growing student population.

BDR Solution

The goal was audacious. With a $32 million budget, BDR was asked to deliver a state-of-the-art learning facility, maintain visual and academic traditions, transition all students and faculty to/from temporary classrooms, deliver a certified LEED Gold facility, and be finished within 18 months.

To meet this challenge, three buildings had to be demolished which created a temporary loss of 51 classrooms. This meant the summertime renovation of two existing buildings as well as installing teaching cottages to handle the displaced students — all by the fall semester. Simultaneously BDR began construction, and ultimately delivered, a very large and complex project under a very constrained timeframe. 

“We have set many ambitious goals for this $32 million project including achieving LEED Gold Certification upon completion of the humanities building. It is BDR’s attention to detail and leadership that gives me great confidence that we will successfully achieve all of our goals.”

- Kelly Sanderson, CPA, LEED
Vice President for Finance & Administration
Woodward Academy



Using lean construction processes and an extensive background in K-12 Program Management, BDR delivered the new 101,297 SF humanities building that leveraged all the historical features, markings and traditions that make Woodward so beloved. State-of-the-art technologies were brought into all classrooms, the collaboration space and the 157-seat lecture hall. Better yet, BDR’s efficiencies enabled Woodward to renovate two existing buildings, Moss and Brand Hall, and build a new track and field facility within the existing project budget. Even with the added scopes of work, the project was delivered under budget and nine days ahead of schedule while incurring 14 weather impact days and 2 weeks of impact due to FAA shut down.

Woodward is now prepared to carry-on its rich tradition of academic excellence well into the 21st Century and beyond.

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