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  Grand Prairie Elementary School Addition, Page 44Grand Prairie Elementary School Addition
FGM Architects Engineers
1211 West 22nd Street, #705, Oak Brook IL 60523

Frankfort, Illinois
Total Square Feet: 45,000
Construction Period: May 2001 to Aug 2002

Construction Team
Structural Engineer: Alta Engineering Ltd. - 5005 Newport Drive, #402, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: FGM - 1211 W. 22nd Street, #705, Oak Brook, IL 60523
Landscape Architect: FGM - 1211 W. 22nd Street, #705, Oak Brook, IL 60523
Cost Estimator: International Contractors, Inc. - 977 South Route 83, Elmhurst, IL 60126

Students, faculty and staff of Grand Prairie Elementary watched the progress day by day as their school was expanded with a 47,000-square-foot addition last year. Started and completed while school was in session, the addition curves behind the original structure, following the property line and opening the school to views of the Prairie Path. This concept, developed by the design team in conjunction with the owner, accommodates the existing site and eliminates the straight corridor/tunnel effect that the school district wanted to avoid. The result is an addition with exterior masonry chosen to match the existing building that arches around the back of the original building, creating an enclosed courtyard for the students, and minimal interference with existing detention. The enclosed courtyard, or outdoor student garden, has picnic tables, grass areas and colored concrete areas for student activities and learning. Additional hard and soft play areas were also added.

Inside, the design team created patterns in the corridor with blocks of accent carpet below skylights that brighten the entry to each of the new classrooms. The corridor of classrooms is made up of a rectangular section with eight classrooms, and a curved section with four classrooms and eight special use rooms. The owner commissioned local artists to paint murals on the walls in the original school. They were commissioned again to create additional murals for the new addition. Also inside is a new multipurpose lunchroom/indoor gym classroom, teacher workrooms, speech and special education rooms, a computer lab, storage and toilet facilities.

The addition includes a full sized regulation gymnasium that will be used by both the school district and the local park district. The gym has bleachers and a separate entrance to maintain the security of the K-3 school and to accommodate the park district for after hours use. A special feature of the gym for the school is the physical education teacher’s new office, which was built between the existing gym and the new gym with glass windows on each side to aid supervision of both gyms.

Special conditions addressed included the upgrade of computer systems to accommodate the new building, the existing school whose operations could not be disturbed, and a tight budget and schedule which were met. An emergency generator was added to provide emergency functions for the existing school as well as the new addition. 

A dedication ceremony was held on September 29, 2002 with a large turnout of citizens and all who were involved in the project. 

DIV 07:
Skylight: American Skylites; Built-Up: Derbicolor™ by Performance Roof Systems.
DIV 08: Entrances & Storefronts: Tubelite; Windows: Traco.
DIV 09: Wood Gym Flooring: Action Flooring Systems; Carpet: Collins & Aikman; VCT: Armstrong.

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