Local Dignitaries Gather for Groundbreaking Ceremony at Future Site of New Student Center and Galleria at Joliet Central High School

Local dignitaries from Joliet Township High School District 204 and Tom Giarrante, the Mayor of Joliet, will join Wight & Company on June 9, 2014 at a groundbreaking ceremony to officially commence construction on the new Student Center and Galleria at Joliet Central High School. Wight, a leading Design & Delivery firm, is the design architect on the project that is budgeted at 28 million dollars.

The project is a 43,000-square-foot addition to the school’s main building that is envisioned to create a new front door to the school. The facility is designed to address student life and community outreach needs, filling a gap in the school’s current facility options.

The new Student Center will include a cafeteria and kitchen, replacing antiquated food service facilities on the fourth floor of the existing building, as well as collaboration areas, two multi-purpose rooms, a student bookstore,technology help desk counter, and security entrance. The cafeteria and kitchen will provide seating for approximately 600 students and is designed with a flexible configuration that can be arranged to accommodate community and school events. The community venue has the potential to hold up to 400 people, and the space can be arranged in an “auditorium style,” where seating can be set up around a portable stage.  


The design we created for the new Student Center at Joliet Central High School includes several collaboration spaces to enhance a modern learning environment and improve quality of life for the users. To connect the Student Center to the main campus, a Galleria will be attached to the east side of the 1920’s school, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Galleria will feature natural lighting elements, and incorporate a student lounge and collaboration space equipped with technology charging stations.

Headshot Kevin Havens, Executive Vice President, Director of Design
Kevin Havens, AIA
Senior Vice President, Director of Design

“While the main focus of the project is to meet the needs of a 21st Century education, the historical integrity of the 112-year-old building will also be preserved,”added Thomas Roth, Senior Project Designer at Wight. “Architectural elements to be preserved include the incorporation of parapets and a limestone façade that will retain and celebrate the historic collegiate gothic aesthetic of the main building. A portion of the existing limestone façade will also undergo restoration and become an interior wall of the Galleria.”

“We are honored to have been selected to serve as architect and design lead and look forward to leveraging our world-class design expertise to build this new, state-of-the-art structure,” concluded Havens.

Wight will incorporate a number of sustainable design elements into the new Student Center and Galleria. Sustainable elements include:

  • Natural light
  • Energy Star roof
  • Low flow toilet fixtures
  • LED lighting (energy savings)
  • Insulated glass
  • Occupancy sensors
  • Daylight harvesting
  • High efficiency mechanical equipment

The project is scheduled to be complete by the second semester of the 2015-2016 school year.