Discovery STEM Academy

Project Summary

Located between Chestnut Avenue and Oak Avenue in Newport News the Discovery STEM Academy is a unique magnet elementary school rooted in STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, one of the first in the Country. Constructed as a replacement on the same property as the former Magruder Elementary School, Timmons Group provided all site/civil engineering, survey, environmental and construction administration services for the project on a 10-acre site.


The school building encompasses 97,600 square feet, including a 3-story classroom wing. The campus includes a bus loop; 136 parking spaces; outdoor playgrounds; a multipurpose field and paved play area. Timmons Group worked with the architect and owner to provide specialty learning areas consisting of an outdoor amphitheater; garden areas to grow vegetables for the cafeteria; a pond and rain garden.

Discovery STEM Academy was constructed immediately adjacent to Magruder Elementary School, in some areas within 15’ of the existing building. Timmons Group worked with the design team, owner and City of Newport News to obtain necessary approvals and coordinate phasing to ensure Magruder Elementary was operational throughout construction. Variances to required building setbacks were obtained by Timmons Group to allow for construction of the new building, additionally detailed coordination with the floodplain administrator was conducted to ensure the building elevation meet all regulations.