The building's exterior consists of 8-footlong, glass fiber-reinforced concrete panels that bring color to an otherwise drab street.
Three color sketches by the architect suggest how he put the building together. The top two show hallways, classrooms, and offices framing the gym/ auditorium and cafeteria.
The bottom sketch is a study of the dance room, with a large window that juts over South Chicago Avenue.
A section view shows how the center's many components embrace and form the gym/auditorium space that is the heart of the building.
A third-floor hallway looks onto the rooftop garden and the center's iconic tower. The garden has an in-ground irrigation system, and its 2-foot soil depth supports everything except large trees.
Six circles that dot the third-floor plan are skylights, which bring natural light to the gym area below.
Sunflowers, sweet potatoes, and a variety of herbs are among the flowers and produce grown in the rooftop garden. Produce is cooked in the center's kitchen.
Ronan's sketches show the rows of the garden, each one devoted to a different planting. The rows line up with the mullions of the glass wall of the third-floor hallway.