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On The Boards | CPS Waters Elementary School

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June marks the end of the Chicago Public School year as students and staff take off for summer vacation, carrying their attention away from the halls and schoolyards. However, at Bailey Edward we’re focusing even more on schools, especially school construction.
Waters Elementary School in Lincoln Square serves a diverse community of students and families. Over the past ten years the school has experienced an 86 percent jump in enrollment, prompting the school to look for more space. With $24 million in funds, the school began looking for design solutions to accommodate its students.

Bailey Edward and Doyle Associates are designing a three-story annex to the existing school to alleviate the school’s growing population. The 30,000 SF annex will encompass standard, special needs, computer, music, and art classrooms as well as a flexible cafeteria space. Furthermore, the annex will provide accessibility upgrades to the whole school by housing an elevator connecting the three floors to the main building. Renovations to the existing school will provide contemporary finishes and bathrooms. The new annex honors the original building’s brick masonry façade, alongside repairs to the masonry and roof of the existing school.

Waters Elementary is known for its impressive gardens and greenspace, and with landscape architect Site Design, a new outdoor play area, landscaping and site improvements will enhance the school’s campus. With an emphasis on the natural landscape, large glass windows face the outdoor play area offering views to students inside. To coincide with the school’s significant dedication to ecology and nature, the annex is designed to meet LEED Silver certification.

Previously, Bailey Edward designed an addition for a multi-purpose room used as a cafeteria and additional classroom space. The project included multiple green building innovations such as a green roof, solar water heat, and rain barrels as part of an irrigation system. BE is excited to be back with the Waters and working again to bring the school’s mission and vision to life.