Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Two districts, three firms capture top school design awards

Two school projects have been named as the 2015 Award of Distinction winners in the annual Invitational Exhibition of Educational Environments, sponsored by IASB Service Associates. DLA Architects, Ltd. was honored for a new addition and remodel of the Elmwood Park High School. IGW Architecture and Perkins+Will, Inc. were recognized for designing the new Urbana Early Childhood School and for an addition to the Prairie Elementary School in Urbana.

This is the 27th year for the juried competition.

The awards will be presented on Friday, Nov. 20, at the 2015 Joint Annual Conference in Chicago. Winning projects were selected by a blind-jury pool of architects and superintendents Sep. 21. In addition to the two Award of Distinction winners, the jury chose three projects for Awards of Merit and three Honorable Mention recipients.

All 23 entries in this year’s exhibit will be on display throughout the Conference. This year’s winning entries are listed by firm, school, and district:

Award of Distinction

DLA Architects, Ltd.
Elmwood Park High School
Elmwood Park CUSD 401

IGW Architecture and Perkins+Will
Urbana Early Childhood School and Prairie Elementary School addition
Urbana SD 116

Award of Merit

ARCON Associates, Inc.
Higgins Education Center
Township HSD 211, Palatine

Wight & Company
Betsy Ross Elementary School
Forest Park SD 91

Fanning Howey Associates, Inc.
Shepard Middle School next generation science labs
Deerfield SD 109

Honorable Mention

STR Partners
Early Learning Center and administrative additions
Schaumburg CCSD 54

ARCON Associates, Inc.
Elsie C. Johnson Elementary School
CCSD 93, Bloomingdale

BLDD Architects, Inc.
Reinvention of MacArthur High School
Decatur SD 61

Criteria considered by the judges included: program/challenge met; how the facility meets 21st century education environmental needs; design; unique energy efficiency or green features; and safety (including passive security design and traffic patterns). To be eligible, construction projects had to be completed in time for occupancy with the start of the 2015-2016 school year.

All of this year’s entries will be added to IASB’s School Design Database. The searchable online database is available for use by IASB member districts and their architectural firms. The file is updated each year after the competition and currently contains more than 500 Illinois public school design projects.