Cannon School opens new middle school addition, technology center

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 6, 2018

Cannon school

CONCORD – On Aug. 24 Cannon School celebrated the grand opening of its new middle school addition and technology center, the result of its $3.8 million Imagine Tomorrow Campaign.

The newly-constructed, two-story middle school addition encompasses 23,000 square feet and includes flexible classroom spaces, a library, science labs and common areas built for collaboration. The technology space includes a makerspace, digital media lab, fabrication studio and media production studio.

On Aug. 24 hundreds of supporters, including Mayor of Concord Bill Dusch and Executive Director of the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce Barbi Jones participated in a celebratory ribbon cutting. A reception honored the 194 families whose support of the Imagine Tomorrow Campaign made the new spaces possible.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the new middle school addition,” said Carla Moyer, head of middle school. “It’s been two years of thoughtful planning and preparation, many conversations with teachers about what was needed for a student-centered space, and discussions about the type of furniture that would be most functional. Greeting the students on the first day was incredibly rewarding. We are thrilled and honored by the support of our families who made this all possible.”

Cannon School also announced a partnership with Skookum, the Charlotte-based digital transformation and innovation firm, to name the school’s newly-renovated technology studio. Co-founders and Cannon parents Bryan Delaney and James Hartsell were on hand to announce the new technology space would be called “The Mill @ Cannon School.”

“The Cannon name has been synonymous with innovation and community for over 100 years in Cabarrus County. The reason Cannon Mills was able to become the success story it was is because James William Cannon took a chance to innovate,” said James Hartsell to attendees of the reception.

“We, at Cannon School, find ourselves at a unique inflection point, not only in our own future but also more globally in the midst of a digital industrial revolution that will challenge how we educate and prepare our children for the jobs of tomorrow,” Hartsell continued. “We believe this new facility has the unique opportunity to not only evolve the manner by which our children can grow and learn, but also significantly bolster the impact Cannon has on our surrounding community. So in the interest of connecting the legacy of the Cannon name to the future of what we hope to achieve at this school we have chosen to name this building ‘The Mill @ Cannon School.’” 

 A leadership gift made by the Delaney and Hartsell families ensured naming rights of the space. Skookum’s global view of the technology industry has proved incredibly beneficial as they have helped the school design the new space and plan curriculum. The space will allow students to engage in virtual reality, augmented reality, robotics, media arts, videography, electronics and circuitry. New class offerings include creative design and engineering, computer science and robotics. 

“Some of the best conversations about education in which I have been involved have taken place in offices at Skookum or on Cannon’s campus when James, Bryan and others have come to talk about productive learning,” said Head of School Matt Gossage. “For me, Skookum’s investment in this facility is a wonderful and strong symbol of their desire to be a partner with Cannon in exploring how we better prepare young people for life. We are grateful for their willingness to be a thinking partner.”