2020 Educational Environments Awards Announced

  • Date Posted
    November 4, 2020
  • Category
Two school design projects have been named 2020 Award of Distinction winners in the annual Exhibition of Educational Environments, sponsored by IASB Service Associates. Awards go to projects representing innovative design solutions both in new construction and renovation of public school facilities.

Earning the highest honor were FGM Architects for the design of a new Sherlock Elementary School for Cicero School District 99, and Wight & Company for work on the Adlai E. Stevenson High School east building addition.

In all, seven projects were selected to receive awards, based on the findings of a jury of architects and superintendents in October. In addition to the Award of Distinction, the jury chose two projects for Awards of Merit and three Honorable Mention recipients. Winning entries listed by project, district, and firm include:

Award of Distinction
  • Adlai E. Stevenson High School East Building Addition, Adlai E. Stevenson HSD 125 (Lincolnshire)
    Wight & Company
  • Sherlock Elementary School, Cicero SD 99
    FGM Architects, Inc.
Award of Merit
  • East Prairie School, East Prairie SD 73 (Skokie)
    STR Partners LLC
  • Holmes Primary School, Maercker SD 60 (Westmont)
    ARCON Associates, Inc.
Honorable Mention
  • Aptakisic Junior High School, Aptakisic-Tripp CCSD 102 (Buffalo Grove)
    Wight & Company
  • Jay Stream Middle School Innovation and STEM Center, CCSD 93 (Bloomingdale)
    ARCON Associates, Inc.
  • Gemini Middle School Additions and Remodeling, East Maine SD 63 (Des Plaines)
    DLA Architects, Ltd.
The annual awards program includes both a juried competition and in-person display held in conjunction with the IASB/IASA/IASBO Joint Annual Conference. All 13 projects in this year’s competition will be invited to display at the 2021 Joint Annual Conference scheduled for November 19-21, 2021, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. There is no in-person display this year since the 2020 Joint Annual Conference is canceled. A video recognizing this year’s winning projects can be viewed here.

Additional project entries invited to display are:
  • West Chicago Community High School Addition and Remodel, Community High School District 94
    DLA Architects, Ltd.
  • Limestone Middle School, Herscher CUSD 2
    Healy Bender Patton & Been Architects
  • Morton West High School Freshman Academy, J Sterling Morton HDS 201 (Cicero)
    FGM Architects, Inc.
  • Laraway School, Laraway CCSD 70C (Joliet)
    Legat Architects, Inc.
  • Longfellow Elementary School Addition & Renovation, Oak Park ESD 97
    STR Partners LLC
  • Woodland CUSD 5 (Streator)
    Energy Systems Group, LLC
Design firms submitted projects with permission granted by their school district clients. To be eligible, the construction had to be completed in time for occupancy with the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

The judges considered criteria that included suitability for stated educational program requirements and special challenges, design, safety, and how well the facility meets 21st-century learning needs. Jury members were school superintendents Art Fessler of Community Consolidated SD 59 (Elk Grove Village), Dan Cox of Rochester CUSD 3A, and Steve Ptacek from Jacksonville SD 117. Joining them were architects Damien Schlitt from BLDD Architects, Inc. in Decatur, Scot Wachter from IGW Architecture in Urbana, and Steve Nelson from Larson & Darby Group in Rockford. Moderating the judging was Rick Young from Perkins&Will in Chicago.

All entries will be added to IASB’s School Design Database, a searchable collection of data, illustrations, and commentary for more than 600 design entries in the annual Exhibit of Educational Environments.