Leyden High School District 212
West Leyden High School’s existing building was more than 60 years old and in need of an expansion and major upgrades. The District engaged their longstanding architect, SPM Architects, and ICI to work with them to design and build a 21st century learning environment for their students.
The High School is comprised of seven interlocking rectangular-shaped educational wings that create a circular courtyard as the building’s center. However, the existing cafeteria, media space and kitchen were undersized and antiquated for today’s educational priorities.
ICI complemented the existing footprint by relocating the eating space of the cafeteria and media center to a portion of the inner courtyard.
The newly created space replaced and enhanced the original cafeteria into a social space where students enjoy a welcoming, daylight-filled environment.
This enhanced cafeteria includes an exterior student commons in the courtyard that doubles as outdoor instruction space. Additionally, the second floor of the expansion houses a spacious, student-centered media center overlooking the courtyard and is strategically located adjacent to student support areas.
The expanded media center includes dedicated instruction areas and collaboration rooms for the students. The spaces transform the learning environment and overall student experience.
The District’s ultimate goal in the enhancements to both West and East Leyden was to develop “confident problem-solvers through authentic and relevant experience.” The updated spaces were built with the intention of enhancing instructional experiences now and in the years to come.