Prairieview Elementary, Grayslake 46

The new Prairieview Elementary needed to unite the district goals of creating small-scale, child-oriented learning environments with the practical elements that a large, growing population demands. In order to solve overwhelming population sizes while still giving students the individual space to succeed, the solution groups students into four families of 175 students; family spaces include seven classrooms, one special education classroom, flexible large group and dedicated small group instructional spaces. Families are then paired into neighborhoods of 350. Neighborhood areas share an art and STEM room as well as bathrooms, storage, and other support functions. Kindergarten rooms with dedicated outdoor play space bridge the two neighborhoods. This arrangement creates two 350-student schools that share a common learning center, tech lab, multi-purpose room, music room, gymnasium, and administration area.

Built on one of the earliest settlements in Lake County, the site features and preserves natural wetlands, giving students an interesting visual backdrop to their education and providing unique environmental curriculum opportunities. Excavations have unearthed remnants of early settlements, which offers the school opportunities to incorporate tangible history lessons into their educational program.