Walter Payton College Prep

Click on any image for a slideshow, scroll down for a written description . . .


The 20 million dollar addition to Walter Payton College Preparatory High School, a Chicago Public School, increases the capacity of this top performing school by almost 40%. A 49,000 square foot, three-story structure adds 14 classrooms, a multi-purpose ‘black box’ performance & teaching space, student lounge/café (overflow for the cafeteria), additional administration space, a gymnasium and a fitness room. Specialty classrooms include a dance studio, music rehearsal rooms, art classroom, drivers-ed classroom, and a special education suite. There was also some renovation work in the existing school including improvements to the auditorium, modifications to administration space and the renovation of two classrooms (one converted to a science lab). A tight site led to some unique design constraints. The gymnasium sits on the third floor with extensive sound mitigation to the floor below and stormwater management is handled by storage vaults located under the building. Massing and a change in brick color express the gym volume and the subtle angle of the ‘box’ matches that of the existing school’s atrium. Site work includes a narrow plaza on the south side of the building that doubles as a fire lane and is flanked by a bio-swale. The structure is a steel frame with a cavity wall skin composed of brick veneer over light gauge studs. The design incorporates a number of sustainable features and achieved LEED Silver.

The project won the Chicago Building Congress (CBC) merit award in 2017, for projects under 55 million dollars.


Project Manager from the end of the Design Development phase to the completion of project close-out. Led the in-house and consultant project delivery effort and was the main contact with the Public Building Commission. This project included enhanced Construction Administration where I was on site for a few hours each day (almost daily) for the duration of the construction.



For a profile of Chicago Public School’s Edgebrook Elementary Project, Go Here. For information on other educational and related work (including childcare, libraries and other civic projects), go to my Projects Page.