Walter Payton College Prep

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Project Description

The 16 million dollar addition to one of the top performing high schools in the nation increases Payton’s capacity by 50%. The 49,000 square foot, three-story structure adds 14 classrooms, a multi-purpose black box space, student lounge/cafe, additional admin space and a gymnasium. Specialty classrooms include a dance studio, music rehearsal rooms, art classroom, driver’s ed classroom and a special education suite. There was also some renovation work in the existing school including improvements to the auditorium, modifications to admin space and 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 storm water management is handled by storage vaults located under the building. Massing and 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 that doubles as a fire lane and is flanked by a bio-swale. The project includes a number of sustainable features and achieves LEED silver.


Project Manager from the end of Design Development 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.