Cumberland Academy

  • area / size 94,500 sqft
  • Completed 2018
  • Location Tyler, Texas, , United States
  • LPA Inc. expanded capabilities for active and innovative learning in the design for the Cumberland Academy located in Tyler, Texas.

    As the Cumberland Academy expanded, administrators of the K-12 school in Tyler, Texas, wanted to create a campus to promote active learning, and to support and celebrate the culture of Arts on the campus.

    After a series of workshops with educators and the community, the design was developed around the themes of Flexibility, Access, Collaboration and Engagement, creating a new FACE for Cumberland Academy’s environment. The campus takes full advantage of the wooded site, creating a variety of outdoor social and learning environments. Interactive labs are co-located with classrooms, providing opportunities for hands-on learning. Athletic facilities were developed at the same time, representing the interests of students and the community; in addition, a 750-seat performing arts center opened in the summer of 2020.

    Learning spaces were designed for flexibility and bringing together different disciplines. The heart of the new academic wing is a 3,600-square-foot makerspace. Students flow through the workshop zone, which is anchored by a large stool-height work island and readily available digital technology. Art labs on either side of the workshop are separated by glass and garage-style roll-up doors. Expansive glass windows and doors connect the spaces to the outdoor quad.

    The athletic complex was designed in conjunction with the academic spaces. Our goal from the start was to support Cumberland Academy’s unique instructional culture and create a campus that will be part of the community for generations.

    The school’s vision is to provide “a nurturing environment that inspires lifelong learning while using innovative technology to develop 21st century skills and fostering an appreciation of the arts.” The focus is on small class sizes and personalized attention “to enable students to achieve their maximum potential.”

    The school’s design maximized the views of the outdoors, recognizing the correlation with natural light and improved student achievement. The design also includes a system to capture and channel rainwater, one of several sustainable elements of the new campus.

    Design: LPA Inc.
    Photography: Sean Gallagher