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Breaking Ground at Chesapeake Academy

Groundbreaking: The Arts & Innovation Hub Begins!

Article courtesy of Chesapeake Academy

With a little fanfare and abundant infectious enthusiasm, Chesapeake Academy broke ground on a dynamic Arts & Innovation (A&I) Hub in memory of Dianne Chase Monroe at the center of Chesapeake Hall on the Rowe Campus in Irvington. This A&I Hub, designed by Randall Kipp Architecture, will house the new James Library, cutting-edge innovation and design lab spaces, and a production studio, providing flexible, convertible, and expandable spaces for multiple uses now and in the future. This vital, central space in the school will reflect Chesapeake Academy's focus on the deep academic development for students involved in design and innovation.

"Chesapeake Academy continually grapples with the question of how best to prepare students for a constantly changing future. We know that focusing too much on recall and test taking does not adequately develop basic competencies or authentic life skills," Head of School Julianne Duvall explains. "Chesapeake Academy systematically embeds critical thinking across the curriculum. Instead of teaching a catalog of facts, each grade and subject address larger essential questions designed to inspire critical inquiry and broader connections. Project-based learning taps into student passions, igniting curiosity and driving learning deeper. We are now ready to move forward on new opportunities for our students in innovation and design." The new A&I Hub will house technological equipment, such as a 3D printer, robotics, and laser cutter, along with power and hand tools. In addition, a broadcasting studio for video and audio, plus arts and design supplies, will live side by side with software design tools such as Adobe Creator.

"We embrace design learning at Chesapeake Academy because we believe that it will benefit our students, increasing student motivation, developing resilience, and promoting deeper learning. If school serves to prepare children for life, it should look more like life and be filled with challenges and opportunities that truly build a wide variety of authentic skills," concludes Julianne Duvall.

Using seed money from lead donors, the plans for the project began in 2017. A one-to-one challenge grant from The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation, along with enthusiastic donations from the school and broader communities, moved the project from design to implementation."We are delighted by this opportunity to offer Chesapeake Academy students all the advantages of a cutting edge education right here in our unique rural community. Innovation and design are integral to developing the flexible, critical thinkers who will lead in the future," explains Head of School Duvall. "This Arts & Innovation Hub is the outgrowth of rigorous research, extensive faculty development and collaboration, and the generosity of donors who can feel the passion behind this project. We are proud to name this exciting space for friend of the school Dianne Chase Monroe.

Students gather to witness the ground breaking.

Students gather to witness the ground breaking.

A very special day at CA!

A very special day at CA!

Keith Meberg and Julie Duvall, Chesapeake Academy Head of School

Keith Meberg and Julie Duvall, Chesapeake Academy Head of School

Randall and David Dew, Chesapeake Academy Board Member

Randall and David Dew, Chesapeake Academy Board Member

Building Great Futures with the Boys & Girls Club
The Local Scoop Magazine  and the  Rappahannock Record  recently shared the news that the Boys and Girls Club of the Northern Neck is renovating and expanding!

The Local Scoop Magazine and the Rappahannock Record recently shared the news that the Boys and Girls Club of the Northern Neck is renovating and expanding!


Wonderful things are happening in our community and we are honored to be a part of the excitement! Randall Kipp Architecture is working with the Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Neck to renovate and expand their North Main Street location. Learn more about the project below.


One of the exterior renderings by Team Kipp. More renderings below.

One of the exterior renderings by Team Kipp. More renderings below.

As printed on the front page of the Rappahannock Record on October 18, 2018:

Boys & Girls Club Announces “Building Great Futures Campaign”

Kilmarnock - The Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Neck (BGCNN) recently launched the public phase of a campaign to raise $2.6 million.

The “Building Great Futures Capital Campaign” will fund a major renovation and expansion of the BGCNN facility at 517 North Main Street in Kilmarnock. In addition, it will support the on-going operations and strengthen its financial base as the club expands.

The board of directors and a special campaign leadership group have been involved in the development of the campaign for the past year and to date have raised over 70% of the total goal from foundations, businesses, churches and individual supporters.

“We are turning now to our wonderful local community to help put us over the top,” said board chairman Karla Beale. “After 10 years, we have outgrown our facility and it is showing the effects of constant hard use by as many as 175 kids a day. We’re counting on the community to help us reach our goal.”

The campaign leadership group includes Terri Wesselman and Julien Patterson, as well as Rosemary and Paul Trible as honorary co-chairs. William and Carolyn Hines, Randall R. Greene and Donna Anderson manage the day to day planning and fundraising activities of the campaign.

The plans for the expansion and renovation of the facility have been developed by the award-winning firm Randall Kipp Architecture Inc. of Irvington.

“The design calls for the complete renovation of the main building, the construction of a new teen center to connect the two existing buildings, the development of green space and outside recreation areas, plus a dramatic new and secure single point of entry,” said chairman Donna Anderson. “Careful consideration has been given to environmental and safety issues.”

“The Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Neck was officially chartered in the summer of 2008. From those early days the club has grown to over 400 members, primarily from Lancaster and Northumberland counties, who in many cases attend several times a week,” said chief executive officer Phillip Mumford. “The consistency of youth attendance is a powerful factor in the club’s success in preparing members for success beyond high school.

“The club offers an after-school program during the school year as well as an expanded summer program when school is not in session,” continued Mumford. “For our teens that have grown up in the club or joined with their friends, we are offering career skills assessments so they have the opportunity now to consider their interests and plan ahead for careers and college.”

“The club serves age 6-18, with age-specific programs designed to help improve grades, promote healthy lifestyles and prepare them for a great start in life,” he added.

To donate to the campaign, or tour the facility, visit or call (804) 435-9696 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Donations of any size are welcome.

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