Colin Powell Middle School

Matteson, Illinois

  • FIRM

    Legat Architects


    Elementary School District 159

  • AREA

    130,000 sq.ft.





Energy efficiency, respect for nature and openness drove the design of Colin Powell Middle School. Three V-shaped classroom wings connect to an enrichment core with a band/choir room, learning resource center, cafetorium, practice gym and large gym.

High-performance technologies include:

-The largest pond-based geothermal system in Illinois reduces energy costs ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY1,000COST PER SQ FT$161.00CITATIONMiddle School CitationFEATURED IN2008 Architectural Portfolio supports curriculum.

-A daylight harvesting system brings natural light to 90 percent of the interiors.

-Sloped metal roof plates over common spaces are angled for future photovoltaic cells.

An open floor plan engages natural surroundings and promotes safety. Classroom wings respond to solar orientation, offer views to the site and optimize circulation patterns. Enclosed courtyards and glass-clad corridors bring daylight and nature deep into the building, and display internal activity.

A diverse materials palette includes:

-Brick-clad classroom wings complement the adjacent city hall.

-Sage green and silver metal panels identify higher volumes and define exterior walls.

-Precast concrete identifies the entry wedge and gymnasium.

-Glass walls and clerestories optimize daylight and views.

“Outstanding energy efficiency. The design is student-friendly. We applaud the daylighting and collaborative zones.”--2008 jury