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William Jones College Preparatory High School


Project Status


Year Completed



278,000 sq. feet

Certifications and Designations

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Project Description

William Jones College Preparatory High School brings a new model of urban education design to downtown Chicago. The location of the public high school, serving 1,200 students, on a tight city lot brought numerous challenges. Jones Prep is “stacked” vertically over seven floors, with the classrooms at the middle on the fourth and fifth floors between shared spaces below (auditorium, lunchroom and library) and above (natatorium and gymnasium). To enhance student experience and learning in a vertical building, each floor is designed with wide stairwells and hallways, plus common areas outside classrooms, encouraging greater physical activity and more opportunity for interaction. Light and openness fill the school – from the soaring three-story lobby and the outdoor terraces off the library, cafeteria and athletic facilities to the windows providing daylight and views to over 90% of the school. Jones Prep is very much part of its neighborhood. Alternating glass, brick, terracotta-colored precast concrete and metal panels on the exterior of the school add texture and scale. The brick references the historic buildings on Printers Row to the west. The school in the South Loop also welcomes the public: the 475-seat state-of-the-art auditorium, swimming pool and gymnasium were designed to be available for public use. The school reflects a commitment to environmental stewardship. Jones Prep features a green roof and a porous green alley where storm water from the roof and terraces is stored beneath the pavement. Additionally, 95% of waste during construction was recycled or reused. The project is on track for LEED Gold Certification.
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