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Foundations College Prep

Located at 1233 West 109th Place in the Roseland neighborhood, the project entails the phased remodeling and addition to a former CPS and religious grade school for a 6th through 12th grade charter middle/high school operated by Foundations College Prep.

The existing 25,600sf one-story concrete frame building was built over a crawl space in the 1960s in two phases. The initial phase, which comprised the area east of the current entry, was opened by CPS as Katharine Lee Bates Elementary in 1960. By 1964, the addition to the west of the entry was complete. As the school grew, multiple portable classrooms were located to the east, west, and south of the existing building. After CPS vacated the school in the 1970s, it was sold to a church and began a steady decline into disrepair.

In its rebirth, the renovated school building is anchoring Foundations College Prep’s new campus, which will ultimately enroll 800 students in grades 6th through 12th grade. Leveraging a blended learning model, Foundations employs an open Learning Center classroom that provides collaborative and individual work areas for up to 40 students. During its inaugural year, Foundations limited admission to students in grades 6 through 9 to allow the establishment of a culture aimed at dramatically improving student outcomes for college preparedness.

During the First Phase, the interior of the existing west wing of the facility was remodeled, accessibility improved, and a new insulated roof installed over the entire building. During the Second Phase, a new multipurpose addition, housing a gymnasium, support spaces, and cafeteria will be constructed to the south of the main entry. Displaced by the addition, site parking and drop off will be relocated to the east side of the site. Simultaneously, four advisory “bustles” will be added to existing classrooms to provide additional areas for learning. During the Third Phase, a two-story classroom building will be constructed to the west along with a garden and an athletic practice field.

General Contractor: Macon Construction Group
Photography: Evan Thomas – StudioThomas