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South Elgin High School
ATS&R Planners/Architects/Engineers
Project of Distinction Winner 2006 Education Design Showcase

Project Fact Sheet
Facility Use: K-12 High
Project Type: New Construction
Category: Whole Building/Campus Design
Location: South Elgin, IL
District/Inst.: School District U-46
   Dr. Connie L. Neale, Ph.D. Superintendent
Completion Date: July 2004
Design Capacity: 2,500 students
Enrollment: 960 students
Gross Area: 381,420 sq.ft.
Space per pupil: 152 sq.ft.
Site size: 70 acres
Cost per student: $19,443
Cost per sq.ft.: $127.00
Total project cost: $48,608,000
Building construction cost: $44,986,000
Site development cost: $3,622,000
View Area Map

A growing agricultural community creates their fifth High School which calls to the architect to embody the Prairie style of Frank Lloyd Wright and enrich education and public use in a highly efficient facility.

To embody the Prairie Style of Frank Lloyd Wright…
Within the participatory planning process, the community, staff, and administration had the unique opportunity to learn from representatives of the district’s four existing high schools. 

The committee collaborated to define an image that embodies the Prairie Style of Frank Lloyd Wright. Overhanging horizontal roof planes, organic detailing, and exterior building elements tie the building to the site, provide scale, and highlight public spaces. A balance of massing emphasizes entry and inspires the building form.

They defined an educational program that led to the creation of learning “Divisions,” each supported by staff planning/ student planning areas for discussion and collaboration.  The committee also defined a simple layout that supports and encourages community use and engagement.

To enrich public use and community involvement…
A two-story vibrant linear spine invites the community in and connects the three public entry lobbies providing ease and simplicity of circulation and access. Locker commons, security desk, and student services are primary elements. Geometric clusters clearly define areas of learning and activity that are easily secured.

To enrich education…
Classrooms and labs are clustered based on academic focus (Divisions) and flexibility. Staff planning areas provide teachers a professional environment, opportunity to team, and make connections that enrich each student’s education. A Division leader office and conference room compliment the planning area. A variety of teaching stations enhance educational delivery including fixed and flexible forum rooms, centralized media center, black box theater, and flexible labs.  Each of the district’s high schools has a different focus (academy) South Elgin’s focus on Health and Wellness incorporates a medical station, occupational food lab serving the public, and a fitness center.

To promote efficiency…
Site programming was given careful and detailed attention.  The bus and car traffic was separated to provide safety for pedestrians and increase efficiency.  The bus loop has two pull-off areas, one immediately upon entering the site to accommodate the two-phased pick-up and drop-off that serves this large high school and one in the loop to adjust for temporary delays without holding up the rest of the buses.  The two-story plan reduced the building footprint and impervious surfaces.  Trees and green islands work together to reduce the heat island effect of the parking areas. 

Long lasting, low maintenance, energy efficient, regional materials and systems were used to build this facility.  Daylighting is used in all learning spaces enhancing the space and reducing the need for artificial light.

Project Description:
1) Control of Institution: Public


Methodology & Standards:
District/Institution Decision; Life-cycle Costs

Funding Method(s):
Primary Source: Primary Source: Revenue Bonds

Project Delivery Method(s):

Sustainable/Green Design:
Site Selection and Development: Building Orientation
Water Conservation: Water Conservation
Energy Efficiency and Conservation: Energy Efficiency; Building Automation/Energy Management Systems
Materials Use: Sustainable Materials Selection
Indoor Environmental Quality: Use of Daylighting; Acoustics; Indoor Air Quality


Associated Firms and Consultants:
Landscape Architecture: Maynard Consulting Ltd.
General Contractor: George Sollitt Construction Company
Structural Engineer: Clark Engineering

Area Map:

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