Champaign Unit 4 School District
  • K12 Education

58,650 SF

Catering to the Needs of a Contemporary Educational Environment

Dr. Howard Elementary, a new three-strand school, addresses the growing student population of the Champaign Unit 4 School District. The colorful light-filled facility replaced the former school building on a confined, high-visibility site in an urban neighborhood. Its modern, innovative design emphasizes accessibility, safety, technology integration, and collaborative spaces, catering to the needs of a contemporary educational environment.

A Colorful Cast

The north-facing curtainwall showcases creativity in the collaboration zones, with colored glass panels casting rainbow-like shadows across the connecting open stair. This juxtaposition between traditional masonry and modern glazing nods to the past and future of education in the neighborhood, honoring history while embracing innovation.

Thoughtful Organization

The “C” formation floor plan optimizes classroom lighting and staff visibility, prioritizing safety and supervision. By strategically placing assembly functions away from perimeter windows, such as the cafeteria, gymnasium, and library, natural daylight is accessible through the secure courtyard, ensuring the well-being of students and staff.

Emphasis on Collaboration

Collaboration zones foster small group learning in an alternative environment. Glazed operable partitions provide flexibility, offering views of the central courtyard and playground while facilitating gatherings in these dynamic spaces.