John Hancock College Preparatory High School
Arts-focused high school uplifts underserved community, promotes diversity, and pays tribute to nearby airport
John Hancock College Preparatory High School forms a community nucleus within Chicago’s Clearing neighborhood. It enables its students (94% Hispanic, 82% from economically disadvantaged families) to ascend from a 1950s-era building to a campus that prioritizes learning and community connections. The facility also introduces Chicago Public Schools’ flagship black box theater. Design of the 178,000-square-foot facility acoustically and aesthetically responds to the Chicago Midway International Airport just three blocks away.
The project encouraged inclusion, from gathering community input to building a diverse design and construction team. Despite several construction site COVID-19 outbreaks, the project finished on time and within budget. Design-build team: Legat Architects, UrbanWorks, K.R. Miller Contractors, ALL Masonry Construction Co.
- Enhanced building acoustics
- Folded corbelled masonry detail at primary entries
- Exterior windows wrapping gym demonstrate uplift concept
- Colorful glazed brick envelopes black box theater
- Courtyard design emulates Midway Airport landing strip
- Classroom window pattern suggests reverberation
- Black box theater and dance studio support performing arts emphasis