Coal City Middle School

Coal City, Illinois

  • FIRM

    Legat Architects


    Coal City Unit School District

  • AREA

    98,961 sq.ft.





Before designing the school, the architectural team excavated heaps of information about the history of Coal City, a small town of 4,000 about 50 miles southwest of Chicago. For more than 50 years, coal mining was the major industry in the area. Coal City Middle School maximizes the educational program and honors the hard work that developed the city.

Students ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY600COST PER SQ FT$114.00CITATIONMiddle School CitationFEATURED IN2001 Architectural Portfolio the learning environment through windows that showcase the learning center, computer lab, art room, and band and music spaces. Three identical carpeted classroom wings for sixth, seventh and eighth grades burst from the central area. The building has a 1,500-square-foot community room and two gymnasiums.

Because many of the homes, barns and buildings in the heyday of coal mining used wooden structures, wood became the primary structural material for the school. Miners used wood as a prop to increase their safety and efficiency. Similarly, heavy wood columns appear throughout the facility. Pipes and wood beams stretch across exposed ceilings in the commons, classrooms and hallways.

"Good layout supports students both socially and academically. Interesting and warm mix of colors and surfaces."--2001 jury