STR AT A GLANCE


STR Principals (from left to right) Colby Lewis, Mike Henderson, and Jennifer Costanzo.

STR Partners is a full-service architectural firm led by three principals and staffed by more than 50 talented design professionals. Founded in 1969, our firm designs K-12 public and private schools, universities and colleges, and corporate and municipal buildings for clients large and small. ENR consistently ranks STR among the top 100 firms in the Midwest, and our work is recognized by industry publications and organizations, including the Illinois Association of School Boards, Association of Licensed Architects, Learning by Design magazine, and the American Institute of Architects Chicago.

Our firm’s mission statement — ENHANCING NOW, ENVISIONING FUTURES — is what we stand for and believe in.
ENHANCING NOW: We help you to make the most of your current facilities, through facility utilization and energy efficiency, as well as maintaining sound, healthy environments for students.
ENVISIONING FUTURES: We are a leader in helping educators create environments that facilitate delivering quality 21st century education.

Nearing our 50th anniversary, our firm looks forward to continuing our tradition of design excellence and fostering long-term partnerships with our clients.

K-12 & Higher Education

Our work ranges from the design of pre-kindergarten to graduate school facilities. Our clients include K-12 public and private schools and higher education institutions, including The University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Governors State University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Our specialty service areas include:

Corporate/Industrial Interiors & Other Buildings

We design major projects for Fortune 500 Companies, as well as local businesses, public libraries, and religious facilities. Follow the links below for examples of our work.

APPROACH

Holistic Approach = Intelligent Architecture
Schools are a community asset. STR works together with stakeholders and the school district to design educational facilities that reflect their values and needs. To manage this process, STR developed a four-step approach, outlined below, to make sure all stakeholders are actively involved in the design of their schools, from design development to final construction.

STR Process

Holistic design suggests that a building or system is a part of a greater, interconnected whole. This includes the landscape, additional/existing buildings, students, teachers, neighboring communities and businesses, and much more. STR Partners holds regular discussions early in the design process with school and community stakeholders to address design intent and needs, resulting in a final product that is sustainable, reflective of community values, socially responsible, and supportive of the school district’s educational philosophy. 

We are very successful in achieving consensus during public engagement programs, and, as such, we make sure all designs take into account life-cycle cost, shared-use options, and the possibility of future expansions. Overall, our approach involves presenting our clients with multiple design and construction options to promote discussion and interaction. 

SUSTAINABILITY

STR is an active member of the U.S. Green Building Council. With more than 20 LEED® accredited professionals, STR strives to design sustainable buildings that are cost effective and easy to maintain. These goals translate into:

STR believes that preserving our planet and its resources for future generations is everyone's responsibility. We work with clients to achieve sustainability within their budgets, whether or not they are seeking accreditation. We educate our clients on the value of creating sustainable environments, not only as a way to lower operation costs and simplify building maintenance, but also to promote good citizenship within the community. Our buildings serve as instructional tools that demonstrate the importance of building sustainable and energy-efficient schools.

Click here to learn about the STR-designed Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy, Illinois’ first new high school to achieve LEED® Platinum; and click here to learn about our most recent accredited project, which achieved LEED® Silver.

AWARDS

IASB Honorable Mention
Willow Grove Early Learning Center, Buffalo Grove, IL
IASB Exhibited Project
Robert J. Richardson Middle School, Chicago, IL
Association of Licensed Architects Merit Award
Robert J. Richardson Middle School, Chicago, IL
Association of Licensed Architects Merit Award
Oak Park ESD 97 Administration Building, Oak Park, IL
IASB Honorable Mention
Brookwood Middle School, Glenwood, Illinois
IASB Exhibited Project
Wilmette PSD 39 Learning Commons, Wilmette, Illinois
ASSOCIATION OF LICENSED ARCHITECTS SILVER AWARD
Tioga Elementary School, Bensenville, Illinois
ASSOCIATION OF LICENSED ARCHITECTS MERIT AWARD
W.A. Johnson Elementary School, Bensenville, Illinois
LEARNING BY DESIGN
Publisher’s Commendation, Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy, Chicago, Illinois
2013 BRICK IN ARCHITECTURE, GOLD AWARD
Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy, Chicago, Illinois
2012 BRICK IN ARCHITECTURE, BRONZE AWARD
Calmeca Academy of Fine Arts & Dual Language, Chicago, Illinois
LEARNING BY DESIGN
Citation of Excellence, Lincoln Middle School, Schiller Park, Illinois
IASB AWARD OF DISTINCTION
New Clarendon Hills Middle School, Clarendon Hills, Illinois
SCHOOLDESIGNER.COM
Indoor/Outdoor Learning Center, Lincoln Middle School, Schiller Park, Illinois
IASB AWARD OF MERIT
Minooka High School Cafetorium, Minooka, Illinois
IASB AWARD OF MERIT
Addition to Prospect High School, Mt. Prospect, Illinois
IASB AWARD OF MERIT
Addition to Elk Grove High School, Elk Grove Village, Illinois
IASB AWARD OF MERIT
New Reed-Custer Middle School, Braidwood, Illinois
IASB AWARD OF MERIT
Pleasantdale Middle School Addition/Renovation, Pleasantdale, Illinois
IASB HONORABLE MENTION
Reed-Custer Performing Arts Center, Braidwood, Illinois
NATIONAL SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION EXHIBITION
Cafetorium Addition to Minooka Community High School, Minooka, Illinois
NATIONAL SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION EXHIBITION
Addition to Gemini Junior High School, Niles, Illinois
NATIONAL SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION EXHIBITION
Pleasantdale Middle School Addition, Burr Ridge, Illinois
NATIONAL SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION EXHIBITION
Minooka High School, South Campus, Channahon Illinois
AS&U OUTSTANDING BUILDING
New Clarendon Hills Middle School, Clarendon Hills, Illinois
AS&U OUTSTANDING BUILDING
New White Oak Elementary School, Morris, Illinois
AS&U OUTSTANDING BUILDING
Minooka High School, South Campus, Channahon Illinois
LEARNING BY DESIGN: A LESSON IN EXCELLENCE
New Clarendon Hills Middle School, Clarendon Hills, Illinois
SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION NEWS/DESIGN SHARE RECOGNIZED VALUE AWARD
New Clarendon Hills Middle School, Clarendon Hills, Illinois
ASSOCIATION OF LICENSED ARCHITECTS SILVER AWARD
Kraft Foods North Pilot Plant Replacement, Glenview, Illinois
NATIONAL TERRAZZO AND MOSAIC ASSOCIATION HONOR AWARD
Minooka Cafetorium, Minooka, Illinois
EXCELLENCE IN MASONRY, BEST EDUCATIONAL, SILVER AWARD
White Oak Elementary School, Morris, Illinois
METAL ARCHITECTURE, HONORABLE MENTION
Kraft Foods North Pilot Plant Replacement Project, Glenview, Illinois
TODAY’S FACILITIES MANAGER MAGAZINE
Feature article, Second Nature, highlighting STR’s lobby renovation for the
Kraft Technology Center, Glenview, Illinois
PCI JOURNAL
Feature article, Elk Grove High School Natatorium, Elk Grove Village, Illinois
PRESCOLITE PUBLICATION
Classy School, Minooka Cafetorium, Minooka, Illinois
SCHOOL PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT
Entries and Common Spaces – article written by Jan Taniguchi, AIA
LICENSED ARCHITECT
Magazine cover, Association of Licensed Architects
LICENSED ARCHITECT
Featured Architect. STR Partners LLC, Association of Licensed Architects
BUILDINGS MAGAZINE
Feature Article, Prototype Design
Architectural Products
Feature Article, Calmeca Academy of Dual Language and Fine Arts