Our primary design challenge was related to the school’s close-packed, semi-urban site. The building, surrounded on four sides by four different property owners, occupied almost 80 percent of the 285,000-square-foot property. Planning studies indicated a need for an increase of approximately 50,000 square feet over the existing building to accommodate long-range student population growth and curricular re-alignment, considerably more than the available footprint afforded.
Our complex redevelopment addressed the site challenge by sequentially phasing selective demolition/replacement through the replacement of a one-story, under-utilized vocational wing with a new two-story structure that provides new administrative and academic space. Relocating a new instructional auto shop building tucked into the corner of the school’s stadium block, and re-orienting the main public entrance to face cooperative parking lots on adjacent public properties, also provided more space. We created additional floor space through infill construction of two existing courtyards and filled out the single undeveloped corner of the property with a new community recreation and wellness center that provides fieldhouse functionality for the school. We also lengthened and widened the existing pool within the existing location to provide flexibility for different events, such as water polo, swim racing, lap swimming, and competition diving.
The school also received new infrastructure, a Vocational Technology Center, community accessible fitness center, and a multi-use athletic center with running track.
- 2010 Honorable Mention, Excellence in the Design of Educational Environments, Illinois Association of School Boards