PBC’s Payton College Prep Annex Wins CBC Merit Award

The high school addition wins the "New Construction under $55 million: Chicago" category

© James Steinkamp, Steinkamp Photography

Walter Payton College Preparatory High School Annex project has been named the 2017 winner of the Chicago Building Congress (CBC) Merit Award, considered the ‘Academy Awards’ of the building industry, in the category of New Construction under $55 Million: Chicago.

Developed by the Public Building Commission on behalf of the Chicago Public Schools, the three-story 49,000 square foot annex includes 14 classrooms featuring dedicated space for art and music, special education, dance and driver’s education. In addition the annex features a multipurpose blackbox theatre, gymnasium with locker facilities, a fitness room and a student lounge.

The team of Koo LLC and Paschen /Milhouse Joint Venture designed and built the annex in the near north community.

“We are pleased with the recognition that is award brings to the work done by the PBC and our partners,” Carina E. Sánchez, Executive Director of the Public Building Commission said. “Walter Payton College Preparatory High School Annex is one example of the type of contributions the PBC consistently makes to foster sustainability within our communities and serve as a developmental engine for the entire neighborhood.”

The tight, urban location of the public high school brought numerous construction challenges. However, through distinctive, functional and innovative design the team was able to seamlessly connect the new building to the legacy building by linking each floor in a way that allows for easy flow between the structures.

The award recognized that on all levels of the new building, minor visual distinctions tie into the legacy building’s design while establishing the annex as a separate and unique space for hundreds of selective enrollment students across Chicago who will now have an opportunity to attend the school.

The school’s Principal, Tim Devine, applauded the CBC award and the increased capacity that accompanied the annex project. “Thank you for all you and your team are doing to make Payton an even more vibrant school. Consider this: the new building will allow us to educate ~100 additional students per year over the life of the new building (~75 year-ish). Thus, you and your team are making it possible to expose at least 7,500 young souls to the Payton experience, which has proven to be a rich opportunity for kids across Chicago’s socio-economic spectrum and neighborhoods.”

“From design through construction to completion, there was a high level of cooperation and collaboration with the partners on this project,” said Sánchez. “We are delighted to accept this award but this team is proud of the work we have done to help broaden the range of educational opportunities for our future leaders.”