William L. Thompson Elementary School

Lake Villa, Illinois

This new early childhood through 5th grade elementary school sits on a 20-acre site, surrounded by natural resources, including approximately two acres of mature woodland and a small area of wetlands. It was important that the school not be invasive to the landscape, therefore it was designed to blend into its natural environment.

Based on a student population of 750, Thompson Elementary School was conceived as a one-story building with a four-section floor plan. Small learning communities offer students and teachers a multitude of benefits, including a flexible arrangement of classrooms and varied spaces for large and small group activities, and adjacent washrooms and drinking fountains. Learning resource center, art and music classrooms, and the computer lab are centralized.

The multi-purpose room, gymnasium, stage, and kitchen areas are all housed in the fourth branch, which is used for after-hours community programs while leaving other school areas secure.