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 at the building’s center. However, the existing cafeteria, media space and kitchen were undersized and antiquated for today’s educational priorities.
ICI began the construction process by relocating the eating space of the cafeteria and media center to a newly constructed portion of the inner courtyard. The newly created space replaced and enhanced the original cafeteria into a social area where students enjoy a welcoming, daylight-filled environment. The 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 overall student experience.
ICI also constructed a major addition and renovation to East Leyden High School. The District’s ultimate goal in the enhancements to both their schools was to develop “confident problem-solvers through authentic and relevant experience.” The updated learning environments were built with the intention of enhancing instructional experiences now and in the years to come.
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