Indian Prairie School District 204 is one of the fastest-growing districts in the country. To solve crowding issues, the district needed a new high school to accommodate 3,000 students in grades 9 to 12.
While planning this large school for thousands of students, designers researched opportunities to provide identity so students CAPACITY3,000COST PER SQ FT$184.85CITATIONHigh School CitationFEATURED IN2010 Architectural Portfolio not become lost among the masses. The resultant "think tanks" cluster the students by grade level and provide an intimate learning environment within a larger context.
Four think tanks, consisting of administrative and guidance offices, student resource rooms, conference rooms and teacher planning centers, flank the media center and outdoor courtyards. The central location of the enclosed courtyards establishes the freedom for students to move outdoors during free periods while still maintaining a secure school environment.
"Innovative and flexible learning environment truly designed for learning."--2010 jury
Lounge areas with Internet access, along with a variety of small and large gathering spaces, encourage interaction among students and faculty.
Decentralized science labs in each think tank provide program flexibility to accommodate a variety of academic models. By situating these specialized rooms throughout the four core areas, the school can be organized by grade level, variety of department types or into small learning communities.