York High School (Renovation)

Elmhurst, Illinois

  • FIRM

    Wight & Company


    Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205

  • AREA

    620,000 sq.ft.





York High School asked architects for a plan to redevelop its large but aging buildings, and to help reverse the trend toward crumbling, inadequate facilities, the flight of good teachers and weak voter support.

The existing school was a collage of additions concealing a 1920s core building. Decades of patchwork modifications and shortsighted planning rendered ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY2,650COST PER SQ FT$121.00FEATURED IN2004 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation dysfunctional campus incapable of modern educational delivery.

The school also challenged the design team to “future-proof” the school with respect to technology and educational flexibility. A robust infrastructure anticipating emerging technology trends with copper, fiber-optic and wireless delivery to every learning environment were fundamental components of the flexible technology solution.

The two-phase architectural solution sought first a new academic wing and selective demolition of obsolete additions. The second-phase restoration of the original structure galvanized community support, and included a new athletic wing and student commons.

Steel-frame and masonry construction with composite slabs is the basis throughout. Comfort control is facilitated through a central variable-air-volume system with hot-water reheat, zoned for each classroom. Electrical power is conditioned and distributed for all anticipated technology use.