Hubble Middle School Claims Third Educational Design Award Of The Year

Top Quote Hubble Middle School's program-driven design and sustainable elements are making an impact in the educational and architectural communities. End Quote
  • Chicago, IL (1888PressRelease) November 30, 2010 - Last week, Hubble Middle School (Warrenville, IL) received its third major award: an Award of Merit from the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB), Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA), and Illinois Association of School Business Officials (IASBO).

    The award recognizes excellence in educational environment design. Representatives of Wheaton Warrenville Community Unit School District 200 and Legat Architects accepted the award at the Hyatt Regency Chicago as part of the IASB/IASA/IASBO 78th Joint Annual Conference, the state's largest educational conference.

    This year, Hubble Middle School also received a K-12 Project of the Year award from Midwest Construction magazine, and a Middle School Citation from American School & University magazine.

    Since the 190,000 square foot facility was completed last summer, the groups that have visited it include IASB's DuPage Division, the American Institute of Architects' Committee on Architecture for Education, Illinois Institute of Technology students, and the West Suburban Branch of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

    Green Goes Gold
    From the wetlands surrounding it to the high-performance systems within it, Hubble Middle School sets a standard for energy-efficiency and environmental respect.

    In May, the 190,000 square foot facility achieved LEED® for SchoolsTM certification from USGBC. Hubble became the third school in Illinois (and the first Illinois school outside of Chicago) to achieve the certification at the Gold level. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across several metrics: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

    Among Hubble Middle School's sustainable features are energy-efficient mechanical and plumbing systems, a green roof, learning gardens, recycling stations, and a wetlands area that doubles as a detention basin.

    The Building as Teaching Tool
    "The building's sustainable aspects are designed to lower utility bills, but they are also expanding the curriculum," says Patrick Brosnan, the project principal and president/CEO of Legat Architects. "The school has become a teaching tool, used by the students, teachers, and community members."

    When Hubble students lead tours of their new building, they talk about its high performance systems, and its reduced impact on the environment. Teachers use features like the recycled materials, green roof, outdoor learning areas, and permeable pavers in the parking lot to support lessons in light reflection, absorption of light energy, and rainwater runoff and filtration.

    "We wanted to lead by example," says Bill Farley, Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations at Wheaton Warrenville Community Unit School District 200. "What we achieved is on the forefront when it comes to teaching sustainable values."

    All Aboard
    The district attributes much of the school's success to the involvement of the entire school community from the very beginning of the planning process. Hubble Principal Dr. Beth Sullivan says, "There was nary a stakeholder, from the board of education to the central office staff, who didn't have an opportunity for input." During planning, the Hubble Middle School team hosted many community meetings, with the number of participants ranging from one citizen to eighty.

    Intensive board involvement throughout the project also helped realize the vision. "We just kept driving the staff and professionals to bring in the project on time and on budget," says Andy Johnson, Board President. "Not only did they do that, but they also delivered a curriculum-responsive facility. We've had nothing but positive responses from those who have been to the school…kids and adults."

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