Nathan Hale Elementary School Annex

Chicago, Illinois (Clearing West)

LEED Gold Certified 

Under “Modern Schools Across Chicago,” the Public Building Commission (PBC) retained Eckenhoff Saunders to design and construct a new academic annex to the Nathan Hale Elementary School. The 41,300 sf, three-story annex was connected to the existing elementary school at its north end. Built in the mid-twentieth century, the existing building has subtle Art Deco details. The annex design replicates and adapts this detailing language and uses aluminum panels to bring accents that express the addition’s contemporary origin. These panels are used to clad a cantilevered bay in the art classroom that captures ample daylight and affords views of the adjacent park.

The annex serves 360 students and includes 11 standard classrooms, a new computer classroom, a new art classroom, student pull-out rooms, business offices, and a new commercial kitchen with student dining facilities. The project scope also includes acoustical improvements in the auditorium.

To make the school safer, more robust, more technologically adaptable, and more environmentally friendly, the annex features a new fire alarm system, programmable HVAC systems, upgrades to the IT infrastructure, use of low emitting building materials, and security cameras that can be linked to the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

The site development also includes parking improvements, an enclosure for trash/recycling, and the conversion of existing asphalt paving to new open green space. The project achieved LEED Gold Certification.