November 20, 2008
Vol. 28 No. 5

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    Architects selected for Lab Schools expansion project

    By William Harms
    News Office

    Two award-winning architecture firms, which include some of the nation’s top architects, have been selected to guide a major renovation and expansion project at the University’s Laboratory Schools.

    The multi-year project will not only help set the course for the Laboratory Schools in coming years, but also will reflect the importance of their relationship with the University and the community. The architects are charged with maintaining and enhancing the architectural traditions of the schools, while promoting the best educational climate and demonstrating environmental sustainability.

    “We have hired an outstanding design team for this important project,” said David Greene, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and chair of architect search committee. “The Lab Schools have a distinguished tradition of providing an exceptional education that is a great source of pride for the University. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to ensure that the schools can continue to meet their highest aspirations.”

    Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, a Chicago firm, will bring a broad mix of educational, institutional and commercial experience to the design team. Valerio Dewalt Train has received five American Institute of Architects Honor Awards in the past 10 years, putting it among the top 10 firms in the country.

    Among the buildings the firm has designed is the Kresge Foundation building in Troy, Mich. The Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Architecture has awarded the Kresge Foundation with three of its highest honors—the 2006 Distinguished Building Award, the 2006 Interior Architecture Award and the 2007 Sustainable Design Award.

    Valerio Dewalt Train also designed the award-winning Garmin Flagship Store, 663 N. Michigan Ave. The Chicago Chapter of the AIA has awarded the building its highest recognition—the Honor Award for Interior Architecture.

    The University also selected FGM Architects for the project, citing the firm’s experience on K-12 school buildings and its award-winning design credentials.

    Seventy percent of FGM’s business is in educational design. Based in Oak Brook, the firm has designed and completed more than 1,000 public and private school projects in its 63-year history.

    “Our entire community is eager to begin a conversation with FGM/Valerio and is excited to begin improving the learning environment for all,” said David Magill, Director of the Laboratory Schools.

    The renovation and expansion are intended to make the resources of the Laboratory Schools available to University families as well as families from the community. The project will allow the student body to grow and retain its diversity and quality, while tailoring the facilities to the best educational practices for every age level.

    Currently, the Laboratory Schools serve 1,763 students in nursery school through high school. The Laboratory Schools are recognized as some of the nation’s finest schools. Alumni have distinguished themselves in many walks of life.