Blueprint for Tomorrow: Breaking Ground on our New Home



New Campus Front

Blueprint for Tomorrow: Breaking Ground on our New Home

A Message from ACS Superintendent, Monique Flickinger

We use the word “community” frequently when we talk about our school. Not just because it is in our name, but because it’s such a critical piece of our identity. We truly are connected by a shared dedication to ACS and our remarkable students, staff, faculty, parents and family members. That’s why I am pleased to bring you – our community – along with us on the journey to our new campus home on Saadiyat. 

This message kicks off a new special series called Blueprint for Tomorrow where l will share an in-depth look at a piece of the new campus on a frequent basis. We’ve spent countless hours planning and designing every square meter of our new home – from the size of the classrooms and the layout of the athletic facilities to the width of the hallways and the placement of electrical outlets. This series will give you an insider’s look on the planning, decisions and vision of our new home, while also providing an opportunity for you to give input on areas that are not yet finalized.  

Breaking Ground

As we continue to progress forward, we’re starting to see big movement. Our Board recently announced the naming of ZUBLIN Construction as the contractor for the new campus, and we’ve also recently secured a private sector donation of Dh1 million from Raytheon Emirates to deepen support of educational initiatives that will inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and business professionals. 


Breaking ground on the new campus were Matt Ayoub, ACS Board of Trustees Chair; His Excellency Khaldoon Al Mubarak, ACS alumnus, Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority and Chief Executive Office of Mubadala; Her Excellency Sara Awad Issa Musallam, Chairperson of the Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), Monique Flickinger, ACS Superintendent; and Sean Murphy, Charge d’Affaires of the United States Embassy Abu Dhabi.

On Nov. 22, ACS held a special groundbreaking ceremony with a number of key Abu Dhabi and US government officials, strategic partners, ACS leadership, ACS Board of Trustees members and others. The event marked a significant milestone toward making this campus a reality and showed the remarkable community support we have for the project. 

New Campus Groundbreaking

Matt Ayoub, Chair of the ACS Board of Trustees, welcomes a few members of the ACS community to the groundbreaking ceremony, including representatives from the many families, companies, government groups and more who support ACS.

Some key highlights of the new campus:

  • Located on Saadiyat Island, about 400 meters from NYU Abu Dhabi
  • Campus size of 6 hectares, double from our existing 3 hectares
  • Total enrollment will increase by 30 percent to eventually serve 1,600 students annually
  • Designed to achieve an Estidama Pearl 3 rating (similar to Gold LEED certification) recognizing efforts in sustainability
  • Innovative learning spaces include:
    • Design-technology labs focused on robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and virtual reality; 
    • Greenhouse in a fully-equipped science wing that will serve as a hands-on classroom for teaching about food security and energy conservation
    • 650-seat professional theater
    • Expansive indoor-outdoor art studio and gallery
    • Athletic complex including two swimming pools, three full-sized indoor basketball courts, a FIFA-sized football pitch, a six-lane running track and a wellness center

News coverage from the event includes: 

Throughout the rest of the school year, I look forward to sharing more about this milestone project. There will be many opportunities – both big and small – for ways you can get involved in our school, and I truly hope you participate because your support is what makes us who we are. 

In the next edition of Blueprint for Tomorrow, I’ll spotlight one special area of the campus that will surely excite everyone – the athletics complex.