New May Whitney Elementary School

Lake Zurich, Illinois


Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95


119,000 sq.ft.

Total Cost


Completion Date


Design Team
Carrie Matlock, AIA, NCARB, LEED® AP BD+C (Principal); Shannon Baird, AIA, LEED® AP BD+C (Project Manager)

The existing elementary school structure (originally a large, 1929 high school) suffered many functional challenges. Rather than invest significant dollars in a deteriorating older building, the community opted via a referendum to replace it.

An elementary school of this size could be daunting for children, but care was taken to create the cozy intimacy of a bi-level home. Concentric layers were a design theme, with communal spaces at the core. Each grade radiates from these centralized spaces. To create separation and identity for each grade plus aid in wayfinding, graphics were incorporated that play off themes of shape and color.

Visioning workshops indicated the new school should be flexible and support personalized learning, creativity, and collaboration. These objectives were met by designing a multitude of learning environments. The learning studios are flexible, with access to small group breakouts. The project space and more robust maker space are designed for children to solve problems from simple to complex. For larger gatherings, educators can choose between the learning amphitheater, the large group presentation space, or even the cafetorium.

Additional Information

Associated Firm

20/10 Engineering Group, LLC (MEP Engineers—includes geothermal system design



Cost per Sq Ft


Featured in

2021 Architectural Portfolio

Product suppliers specified

Carpet by Forbo Flooring Systems
Flooring by Forbo Flooring Systems
Physical-Education Flooring by Gerflor Sports Flooring
Cabinets by Case Systems
Ceilings by Armstrong World Industries
Elevators by Otis Elevator
Insulation by Rockwool
Paint/Wallcoverings by Sherwin-Williams
Roofing by Garland
Skylights by Kalwall
Windows by EFCO
Lighting & Accessories by Lithonia Lighting
Lighting & Accessories by Axis Lighting
Emergency Lighting by Lithonia Lighting
Drinking Fountains by Oasis
Fire/Life-Safety Systems by Notifier
Hand-Drying Equipment by Bobrick
Washroom Accessories by Bobrick
Washroom Fixtures by Kohler
Washroom Fixtures by Sloan Valve
Washroom/Shower Partitions by Bobrick
Athletic Equipment by Porter Athletic Equipment
Scoreboards/Clocks by Daktronics
HVAC Units by ClimateMaster
Lockers by Columbia Lockers
Whiteboards / Markerboards / Chalkboards by Claridge
Signage by Take Form
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