As the oldest and most accessibility challenged school in Elmhurst, the new Lincoln Elementary School replaced a 1915 building with a two-story, state-of-the-art facility. The new K-5 school accommodates up to 600 students and aligns with modern learning strategies consistent with the mission of the Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205.
Three key challenges emerged through the planning and design process:
- Maximizing indoor/outdoor instructional space on a severely restricted site
- Enhancing safety with adequate on-site parking and improved traffic flow
- Honoring the history of the original school while celebrating its place in the neighborhood
The new school’s exterior architectural design reflects the changes and housing re-development at the core of the community’s transformation. The appearance of the new Lincoln School focuses on shared memories with the aesthetics reflective of its context and time.
On the inside, the school is partitioned into grade-level neighborhoods...each given its own identifying personality through color and student-inspired graphics. The open plan library media center and adjoining dining commons connects these classrooms to other services and programs students need throughout the day. Eliminating corridors maintaining clear site-lines across each level and designing for flexibility ensure that almost every square foot in the facility is used for educational purposes.